I'm currently working on a product idea I have, and I'm trying to fully understand how a "provisional patent application" and "inventor log book" can protect my product idea from other companies trying to patent or sell my product idea.
Based on my research online this is the information I currently have been able to gather regarding this topic:
If I apply for a "provisional patent application (PPA)", after a "public disclosure/sale offer" occurs I have a 1 year grace period to apply for a "non-provisional patent application (NPA)".
However, if I don't apply for an NPA and my PPA expires after the 1 year grace period then this counts as a "bar to patenting" and I will no longer be able to patent my product idea; right??
1. So if the above situation counts as a "bar to patenting" my product idea; I will never be able to patent my idea, and no company or any other person will ever be able to patent my product idea as well, due to "public disclosure/sale offer"??
If this is true, then I guess I can see this as a proand a con. For a pro, at least I know that no one or company could ever try patenting my product idea, but as a con I will also never be able to patent my product idea as well.
2. To avoid the above situation from occurring; can I "public disclose/sale offer" my product idea to a company to see if they want to license my idea without having a PPA or NPA filed, but having a properly kept "inventor log book" instead??
For example, can a properly kept "inventor log book"; which contains detailed information regarding my product idea, signed, dated, and also have a witness sign it be enough for court if a company tries to patent or sell my product idea??
However, after re-reading my question number 2; even if I didn't have a PPA or NPA there is still "public disclosure/sale offer" occurring so this would again only give me a 1 year grace period before a "bar to patenting" occurs; right??
I guess the only difference in my question 2 is that I would save money by not submitting a PPA.
3. If the above is true, then what is my best option to protect my product idea, but at the same time still be able to contact companies to see if they are interested in "licensing" my product without receiving a "bar to patent" after 1 year due to "public disclosure/sale offer"??