As a patent practitioner, I am often asked about patents, their purpose, and their scope. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has several helpful web pages that an inventor can refer to when trying to learn more about patents. One such web page is the “Inventors Resource” page, available here. For general information concerning patents, one can refer to the USPTO’s “Patent Basics”. The USPTO also provides an overview of the role registered patent practitioners play in assisting inventors to obtain patents, and outlines the differences between a patent attorney and a patent agent here. And finally, many companies and individuals are utilizing provisional patent application filings for various reasons, and the USPTO defines provisional patent applications and their associated process, considerations, and tradeoffs here.