When a business owner is preparing to introduce a new product or service, there are many questions they may have surrounding the patent application process. As the process for applying for and obtaining patents can be complicated, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable attorney who is well-versed in local regulation. For those located in the Chicago area, UpCounsel can offer access to experienced attorneys and cost-effective legal services to help facilitate the patent pending process.

Starting the Patent Pending Process

When starting the patent pending process, applicants should first consider their goals. Although patent pending status serves to establish protection against competitors, the granted patent will have a set scope of exclusivity that will define the boundaries of the protection provided. Before beginning the process, the applicant should research any existing patents and consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that the scope of their patent fits their needs.

The US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has established guidelines for the application process that can be accessed on their website, as well as through UpCounsel's network of attorneys.

Filing an Application

The first step in the process is filing an application with the USPTO. To do this, the applicant will need to submit detailed records of their invention. This includes drawings, diagrams, or sketches that illustrate how the invention works. Additionally, applicants should give an explanation of how the invention works in supplemental text to further define the scope of the invention.

It is important to note that the USPTO will not accept any verbal descriptions of the invention and all descriptions must be written. This is done to ensure that the USPTO is able to review the application thoroughly and will be able to determine whether or not the application merits a patent.

Receiving a Patent Pending Status

Once the application is filed, it is reviewed to determine whether or not it meets the requirements established by the USPTO. If it does, the applicant is awarded a patent pending status. This status does not mean that the patent is approved and will be granted, only that the application has been accepted by the USPTO.

The USPTO then further reviews the application and considers any potential conflicts with existing patents that have already been awarded. The applicant should not make any changes to their invention until their patent has been officially granted.

The Timeframe of the Patent Pending Process

The process from filing an application to receiving a patent pending status can take up to six months. Once the application has been filed, it generally takes three months to receive the patent pending status. However, the overall timeframe to receive a granted patent can range from one to three years until a final decision has been made.

End thoughts

Going through the patent pending process is a time consuming and complex process. Those considering applying for a patent should reach out to an experienced attorney who can guide them through the process and inform them of any potential issues that may arise. The patent attorneys at UpCounsel can provide expert advice for those located in the Chicago area and offer the support necessary as an applicant progresses through the patent pending process.


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