"Priority date" is a very important concept to learn if you are interested in patents. The priority date proves when you came up with your invention. It is like a place holder for your idea. It is important because if another inventor comes up with the same idea, the priority date will decide who had the idea first.
If another inventor filed a provisional patent application (which is a private document) on an earlier date, that inventor will have legal claim or "right of priority" to the invention - even if you started working on yours much earlier than your public disclosure.
If you are filing a utility patent(which we think of as a final patent)and you have already filed a provisional patent application, your priority date is still the day you filed your provisional.
It may sound complicated but patents are all about protecting your ideas - your "intellectual property" and who gets there first is really important.
How Can You Protect Your Invention?
About the Inventioneers Patent Scholarship
For those of you new to our program, we are the Inventioneers, a non-profit public charity. We began as a FIRST® LEGO® League
(FLL®) team back in 2004 and had amazing success in that program (we still need to pinch ourselves every once in a while).
We were the four time NH State FLL® Champions and in April of 2010, we earned the Champions Award at the FLL® World Festival
in Atlanta, GA.
We have a utility patent pending at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).