Question: What can I do for an expiring provisional patent? How?
Question Detail: I have a provisional patent that is about to expire in 2 days. As of now, I figured I don’t have enough specific information or too broad to go for non-provisional. So, I am thinking let my current provisional patent expire or withdraw it. (Are there any difference let it expire (abandon) or withdraw? If I withdraw or let it expire (abandon) will the provisional patent become a public knowledge? I really don’t want that to happen since I am planning to make a new patent. What are choices? Which I even think about re-filing? Thank you in advance and please let me know my options also.
ANSWER: An expired provisional patent application does not become public knowledge. One option is to re-file the provisional application, but you will lose the “priority” of the filing date from the earlier provisional. Before expiration, you may be able to “re-file” the provisional as a non-provisional application.