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I have been slowly developing a product for the last couple of years but my major hold up has been the legal side of things since I do not have the start-up funds. I decided to write the provisional patent myself and was having a lawyer friend look over it for me because I was ready to submit when he told me that a very similar product had just filed a provisional patent not even a month ago. Is there anything that I can do to still try to launch my product and secure a patent for it in the future?

I know that there is the possibility of changing certain elements on it but is there a way to actually know what elements I can change in order to make it different from theirs when they have not put an actual patent on any particular element yet?

Thank you so much in advance for the help!

  • A patent application doesn't get published until 18 month after its filing. Is your friend lawyer talking about a patent grant? – daniel Apr 18 '16 at 1:35
  • No, this is a provisional patent. It is essentially a working patent that allows you 1 year to work on your invention and file for an actual patent. It contains no claims, and if far more simple, cheaper, and broad than an actual patent. – needsomehelp Apr 19 '16 at 6:30
  • I'm confused. A provisional patent is never published until its corresponding non-provisional application is published. So how would your lawyer friend know about the patent? – daniel Apr 19 '16 at 9:33

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