How long can a patent be pending? Patent review takes a while, but it can range from 12 to 32 months, depending on the complexity of the invention and how long there are other similar products in the queue. This article will discuss how long a patent can be pending and the various processes involved in its review. In the end, it will be up to the patent examiners to decide whether to allow or abandon a patent application.
Defining patent pending
The term “patent pending” has become a commonplace for inventors. It carries a sense of exclusivity and innovation, which many inventors crave. But how do you define a patent pending? Here are some tips. After all, patent pending is only a temporary status; it is not a legal requirement to obtain a U.S. patent. Let’s take a closer look.
How long is the “Patent Pending Status”?
A patent pending status is the period between the filing of an application and the issuance of a patent. This period lasts until the patent is granted. Usually, patents take between two and four years to be approved, but can be much longer. For this reason, most applicants want to know how long their patent application is “in the process.”
Patent applications filed in the United States are typically “patent pending” for between 1 and 3 years. It is common for patent applications, such as those filed in the United States, to be “patent pending” for up to 3 years. Software and electronic applications can have patent pending status for up to five years. The Patent Office will keep the patent application “patent pending” until the patent application has been abandoned or granted.
In general, the time it takes to process a patent application varies depending on the technical field of the invention. The USPTO groups patent applications based on the technology involved in the invention. Patents are then assigned to a group of technology, known as an “art unit.” This means that more applications in the same technology unit are waiting for examination. The longer a patent pending time, the more intense the examination process will be.
Continuations of a patent
Continuations of a patent are essential if you want to add to an original patent application. You may be able to amend a claim, but it is not the time to introduce new matter. Patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office are limited to one invention per claim. However, many patents cover more than one invention. In such cases, the USPTO may require that you separate the inventions for separate examinations.
A continuation application is similar to a new patent, except it can delay costs and decision-making, and can also delay the timeline. Essentially, a continuation application replaces an original patent, makes similar claims, and gets the same priority date as the original one. It is similar to an options contract, allowing you to pursue new claims in the future if the original patent is not accepted. However, a continuation application must be filed before the original patent has issued.
One reason for submitting a continuation patent application is to gain broader protection for your product. Although some inventions are limited in scope, the patent allows an inventor to pitch an idea to investors as patented. Moreover, it gives them the right to mark their product with a patent number. Another reason to file a continuation application is to cover your competitor’s weaknesses. In addition to extending your protection, you can also sue them for patent infringement.
Scope of a potential patent
In order to be eligible for patent protection, an invention must be described in a written document known as a patent application. The document must clearly describe the invention, include at least one claim, and disclose a practical example of the claimed invention. The claims of a patent application describe the scope of coverage sought by the invention. This written description is generally found in the specification portion of the application. This section of the application should be well-written and describe the technical details of the invention.
The new guidance in the UK has sent shockwaves through the patent profession, allowing for a broader interpretation of a disputed feature. While it is aimed at helping patent owners, comments made during examination can be used against the patent owner in later litigation. The file history of a patent can also be used to interpret claim scope. This will undermine the patent owner’s ability to prove infringement, so avoiding comments made in an examination report is vital.
The wording of patent claims is also critical. While literal language is important in patents, patent holders can define terms to give them broader meaning. For example, a patent holder may assert an invention that is equivalent to the same or a similar action. A patent holder may also use the same or a similar method of performing the invention, such as a machine or device, to develop a better product.
Timeframe for filing a patent application
In many cases, the timeframe for filing a patent application is much shorter than what you may think. As such, it is critical to consult with competent patent counsel before making a decision. While the statutes governing patent applications are complex, time periods represent only one factor in the overall process. Factors that should be considered include the specifics of your invention, and the laws of your country. This information is provided for informational purposes only.
Before 15 months, a patent application goes through several evaluation processes to determine whether it fits into the art unit of the claimed invention. A patent examiner is then assigned to review the application and make any necessary revisions. Once the patent examiner has approved the application, it is issued. Applicants are also required to pay issuance fees to obtain a patent. However, this timeline does not apply to design and plant patents, which have longer timelines.
The timeframe for filing a patent application is different for each country. In Canada, the deadline is five years after filing. In the US, however, if a patent examines the invention within five years, it is automatically published in the public domain. If, however, the patent examiner finds that it is not patentable, it will require further examination. The examination process takes between six months and three years. The timeframe for a patent application varies greatly, depending on the art unit and the complexity of the invention.
Benefits of patent pending
Patent pending status protects you from your competitors’ copies. Many products can be copied without a patent, which can result in costly litigation and future issues. Moreover, the patent holder cannot prevent others from copying his invention before the patent issues. However, explaining the pending status of your product can deter competitors from copying it. These are some of the benefits of patent pending status. Keep in mind that these benefits do not apply to existing products.
Another benefit of patent pending status is that it establishes the priority date of the invention. This means that anyone who files a patent application after the inventor will be rejected. Additionally, it attracts customers as they are more likely to purchase a product that has a patent. The process to obtain a patent pending notification is relatively simple.
As such, the benefits of patent pending status are numerous. These include:
(1) deterring competitors from copying your product
(2) protecting your idea from theft
(3) warning potential licensees of infringement
(IV) attracting investors.
Besides protecting your idea against copyright, patent pending status also prevents your competition from copying your invention. Depending on the backlog, patent pending status lasts for a few years. Meanwhile, it alerts other companies about your patent application. Besides, it prevents them from developing a similar product. This is an important benefit of patent pending status. If companies fear that they may be sued for copying your product, they won’t develop it.
What is not “Patent Pending?”
It is illegal to use a patent notice on any product, marketing material, or website if your invention is not in patent pending status. A patent pending notice that you use when you haven’t applied for a Patent can lead to a $500 fine per offense. See 35 U.S.C. 292 (False Marking).
Here are some situations where patent pending status is not available and when you shouldn’t use a patent-pending notice.
- A patent attorney has been hired to prepare your patent application.
- An attorney for patents will send you a draft to be reviewed by you.
- Patent application is granted.
- Your patent application has been abandoned.
Patent Pending Notice
A patent notice can be used to mark a product, marketing materials, or any other material related to your invention that has a patent status. Although a patent pending notification is not required by law and has no legal effect, it can be useful to notify third-parties about the patent status of your invention.
If your patent status is legal “patent pending”, you can use a patent-pending notice. It can be used in the below situations:
- The U.S. Patent Office has received a provisional, utility, or design patent application.
- Within the past six months, an Office Action was sent by the U.S. Patent Office.
- You have received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent Office. The issue fee has been paid, but the U.S. Patent Office still has not issued the patent.
Types of Patent Pending Notifications
It is important to place a patent pending note on a product, marketing material, or website in order to make public the fact that you have filed a patent request. You can file a suitable patent notice once your patent application has been filed with the U.S. Patent Office. Although there is no standard format for patent pending notices, these are examples of common ones:
- Patent Pending
- Patents pending
- U.S. Patent Pending
- Pat. Pend.
- U.S. Pat. Pend.
- Patent Applied For
- U.S. Patent Applied For
- U.S. Patents and Foreign Patents
- Patents Applied for in the U.S.A and Abroad
Cost of a patent application
How much should you budget for a patent application? The process itself is inexpensive, usually costing no more than a few hundred dollars, but hiring an attorney will add thousands to the total. You should expect to pay between $5,000 and $7,000 for an application, and that doesn’t include search fees. Then, there’s the post-filing fee, which will increase the overall cost of the application. A patent search will ensure that your invention is new and hasn’t been patented by someone else before.
Unlike other categories of inventions, mechanical inventions usually cost less. The total cost of a patent application will range from $5,000 to $15,000, and it reflects the complexity of your invention. Generally, mechanical inventions cost less, and medical devices cost more. However, it’s important to note that there are many factors that go into determining the cost of a patent application, and you should make sure to determine what they are before you start drafting one.
Patent filing costs vary greatly by country. In Europe, India, and Japan, patent application costs can make up more than one-third of the total budget for a single patent. In the United States, the cost of a patent application can account for as much as a tenth of your overall budget for a single patent. To make your life easier, consider using an electronic docketing system to help you manage your patent portfolio.