For the sake of simplicity, I will limit the scope to utility patents. In what scenarios would it be advantageous for an entity to convert a provisional utility application to a non-provisional utility application rather than file a new non-provisional application seeking priority of the provisional?
I can only think of three scenarios:
- A new best method has been developed since the provisional was filed and an entity would like to not disclose that method in a new application.
- Legislation (patent, tax, etc...) gives advantages for holders of patents filed in a certain period that the provisional falls into but a non-provisional does not.
- Avoid the filing fee for a new patent application by converting the old one after 364 or fewer days.
All of these seem like a bit of a stretch and I'm not certain the first reason is even valid.