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I have an idea for a system that integrates 2 existing technologies in a novel and non-obvious way, but do not have the expertise or capacity to actually create the technology or a prototype. Ultimately, I want to sell my invention to a company. The companies I would like to approach will only accept patented ideas. Due to the nature of the technology industry, I want to act quickly and lock in my idea before anyone else does. I am considering filing for a provisional patent. Do I have to be able to manufacture/produce my invention in order to apply for a provisional patent? If not, and my application was accepted/approved, would a patent be issued at that point or only after my non-provisional application has been approved? If a patent does issue provisionally, can I sell my invention along with all rights before the provisional period expires? If so, would it then become the new owner's responsibility to follow through and file the non-provisional application? Please advise. Thank you.

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You do not have to manufacture/produce your invention in order to apply for a provisional patent. A provisional patent application is not examined and will never issue. A non-provisional patent application must be filed within 12 months of the filing date of the provisional patent application. You may sell your rights to your invention, your provisional patent application and/or a non-provisional patent application at any time. The terms and conditions of the sales agreement will govern the responsibility of the new owner in regard to following through on the filing and prosecution of the non-provisional patent application. If you desire the new owner to file and prosecute a non-provisional patent application based on your provisional patent application, you must make that explicit in the sales agreement and assignment of patent rights.

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