A patent's filing date is the date when you filed your patent application as acknowledged by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Date of Patents

When applying for a patent, one of the most important issues is the patent filing date recognized by the USPTO. The reason the date you filed your patent is so important is that it can show you applied for the patent first, which is used to determine who has priority to the rights of the patent. When two people apply for a patent for a similar invention, the filing date will determine which application takes priority.

One important fact to understand is that your patent filing date will not necessarily be the exact date when your application was filed. This means there can be two different dates related to your patent filing: the actual filing date and the effective filing date. The date when your application was submitted is your actual filing date. This date is crucial when the USPTO is trying to decide which person was the first inventor. The actual filing date can also be used to determine how long your rights to your patent will last.

In some cases, a filing date can be inherited from one patent to another. This date would be known as the effective filing date. For instance, you may have filed a provisional patent application in order to gain some rights to your invention. Later, you decide to file your non-provisional patent application.

A provisional patent application is only valid for 12 months, meaning the protections provided are temporary. Before your provisional patent expires, you would need to file for your non-provisional patent to maintain your filing date and patent protections. Once a patent is issued, it will last for 20 years. This 20-year lifespan begins at the filing date of the patent application. 18 months after a patent application has been filed, it will appear in the USPTO Gazette for public examination.

Patent Application Requisites

Before the USPTO will award a filing date to a nonprovisional patent application, several requirements must be met. The application must include several features:

  • A specification that outlines the invention.
  • One or more patent claims.
  • One or more drawings that will help people understand the invention.

The Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 allows nonprovisional utility patents to receive a filing date with only a specification included. The filing date for patent applications that are filed electronically will be the time when the application is received. When filing a patent application by express mail, the filing date will be the date that is stamped at the postal counter. Filing any other way will result in a filing date that reflects when the application was received by the USPTO.

Difference Between the Filing Date and Priority Date

An important issue to understand related to patent filing dates is the difference between the filing date and the priority date. Basically, the filing date is simply when you filed your application. The priority date, on the other hand, is the date when the novelty of your invention was established.

In many cases, the priority date is different than the filing date. For instance, you can claim a priority date based on a previous patent application. In these circumstances, the priority date of the new application would be the same as the patent application.

You can claim the priority date of a patent application in a variety of circumstances. For example, this is possible with a continuation application. If you filed a patent application internationally and later filed a domestic application for the same invention, you can claim the priority date on the foreign application for the domestic application.

Meeting the United States Requirements

After you have publicly disclosed an invention, you will have one year to file your patent application. When filing in a foreign country, you can submit your application to the foreign patent office. This can help to reduce your costs and can also speed up the process of issuing your patent.

It is not possible to extend the one-year filing period. The one-year anniversary of the disclosure of your invention is the last day that you would be able to file a patent application. If you want to maintain your intellectual property rights, it is vital that you submit your application before this date.

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