Every day, individuals and corporations alike turn to patent protection to safeguard their intellectual property. Whether it’s an innovative technology or a new invention, a patent can guard the owner’s ideas from being misappropriated by others. While completing a patent application can often take years, filing for patent pending status allows business owners to begin the process of protecting their ideas and products before the patent is approved or denied. For entrepreneurs in Dallas, Texas, considering patent pending status can be a complicated matter. Before making a decision, there are five important things that a business should know.

First, it is important to understand the differences between a patent and a patent pending status. A patent indicates that a patent has already been awarded for the invention; a patent pending indicates that the patent application is currently being reviewed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Generally, a patent pending status will be granted if an individual or company can provide detail on how their invention is novel and inventive.

Second, businesses should consider how they might benefit from patent pending status. In the U.S., individuals and companies can decline to publicly disclose their invention while the patent application is being processed, meaning that they can keep their idea private. Additionally, individuals or a business may benefit from some degree of provisional patent rights, although the extent of these rights varies depending on the patent jurisdiction and the agreement the company enters into with respect to the license of the patent-pending invention.

Third, any individual or company considering a patent application should understand the costs and time commitments associated with the process. The USPTO charge fees for filing and maintaining a patent, and the application process itself can take between 2-4 years before the patent is granted. Additionally, the fees associated with patent attorneys for filing or defending a patent can be costly depending upon the complexity of the application.

Fourth, it is important to understand that patent pending status is only a temporary status that typically lasts for one year. As such, it is important to maintain the patent application status by filing the required paperwork to the USPTO within the given time period. Failure to do so could result in the patent being denied due to lack of maintenance or the application not meeting the necessary requirements for novelty or inventive criteria.

Finally, businesses in Dallas looking to apply for patent pending status should research and find patent counsel that are familiar with local regulations. Local attorneys are often better versed in the local laws and regulations regarding patents and can also be a source of valuable guidance for business owners unfamiliar with the process.

Patent pending applications can be complex and confusing for those unfamiliar with the process. By understanding the differences between patents and patent pending applications, how businesses may benefit from the status, the costs and time commitments associated with the process, the time limits for maintaining the status, and the benefits of finding local counsel in Dallas, Texas, individuals and companies looking for patent protection can make informed decisions about how to best protect their ideas and intellectual property.



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