When it comes to protecting and defending your ideas and inventions, patenting can be one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal. Patents provide inventors with a right that may be enforced in the court of law, giving them exclusive rights for a set period of time to use, make, sell, offer to sell, export, and import products based on their invention. Obtaining a patent is a difficult but worthwhile undertaking, and in the United States, a crucial step is the patent pending process. Despite this importance, many executives fail to fully understand the entire process – what it entails, how to apply, how to maintain a patent, and what is at stake. To add to this complexity, there are local regulations that businesses based in Dallas must meet, so understanding every nuance of the patent pending process is crucial. To help Dallas-based executives navigate these nuances, we’ve compiled the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding patent pending.

What is Patent Pending?

The patent pending process is the interim period between submitting a patent application and the grant of an issued patent. After filing an application with the US Patent Office, the patent pending status begins. During the patent pending period, the patent-pending application is examined by the Patent Office, and parties interested in the invention can go through the patent application. The length of the patent pending process varies based on the type of patent and the technology involved, from a few months to several years; in general, a patent is granted within two to three years from when it is filed.

What are the Benefits of Patent Pending?

The biggest benefit of the patent pending process is that it gives entrepreneurs a reasonable expectation that their invention can be granted exclusive legal rights once the patent is issued. A patent pending application is also notice to the public that an invention is being claimed and can be used for evidence in patent infringement actions.

Additionally, the patent pending process can help prevent competitors from copying your invention. Once the patent pending notice is displayed, they may be deterred from copying your invention due to the legal risks of infringement or patent invalidation. During the patent pending period, businesses may also mark their products and packaging to let other companies know that they are patent pending.

How do You File for Patent Pending?

To file for patent pending status, inventors must prepare and submit a patent application to the US Patent Office. A patent application contains detailed information about the invention, including a written description, drawings, a written summary, and claims.

It is important to keep in mind that filing for patent pending status is different than filing a standard utility patent application. If an inventor files a utility patent application, the application must be examined by the Patent Office before the patent is granted. However, if an inventor files a patent pending application, the patent can be granted without any examination. The process of filing a patent pending application is much less involved than filing a utility patent application.

What are the Risks of Patent Pending?

The biggest risk of filing for patent pending status is that the patent may be refused or invalidated once the application is examined. This is because the Patent Office may find that the invention lacks novelty or is an obvious variation of a previous invention. Additionally, there is a risk of delay in the patent pending process if the Patent Office requires further examination of the invention.


Patent Pending,

Legal Rights,

Patent Infringement