If you have been wondering how to get a US pending patent, but have held off filling out your application because you think the process must be too difficult, then you are in luck. The start of the process is actually quite simple. To begin, you must go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office and get a provisional patent application. This form must be completely filled out and submitted to the office.
This provisional patent application differs from the regular one in a major way. It is much simpler to fill this application out than it is to fill out the regular patent application. In addition, the cost of filing for pending status is much less than the cost of filing for a patent. The fees currently start at $110, but rise to $220 when the size of the company is exceeds a certain amount. This discount helps individuals and small businesses protect their intellectual property.
The application for a provisional patent must include a variety of information in order to be considered complete. The applicant must write a description that is highly detailed about the invention. This detail must include how the invention is made and how the completed product can be used. In addition to the written portion of the application, a picture of the invention must be included as well. This can be a photo of the completed invention or a simple drawing of the idea.
In order to be able to lay claim to the date that the request for a provisional patent was applied for, a regular patent application must be filed within a year of filing this first application. This step is not necessary to get US pending patent status. However, if it is not completed, then the application will be considered to be abandoned and the status will be lost. Having patent pending status on an invention means that the application has been filed but no action has been taken on it by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
This status remains in effect starting on the date that an application for patent is filed. The status officially ends in one of two ways. Either the patent is granted by the USPTO, or the application is abandoned, as described above.
There are no rights that are legally enforceable after filing this provisional application. Legal patent rights only come when the Office grants the patent to the applicant. However, it makes sense to file the application in a timely way. It obviously increases your chance of being granted the patent, and it is a tool that many business owners use to attract potential investors in their company.
In general, most patent applications remain in pending status from one to three years, although there are cases in the electronics and software industries where the patent pending status has lasted up to five years. The important take-away is that it is not difficult to get the process started and eventually earn a patent for your inventions.
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