What Does Patent Pending Mean?

Inventors often wonder, “What Does Patent Pending Mean?” Attorneys from the Evergreen Valley Law Group can answer this question and more. Call us for advice.

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What Is the Meaning of Patent Pending?


Patent pending means there is a pending patent application. This status is given to an invention after the patent office has received and acknowledged the application. The term “patent pending” lets the public know that the inventor is pursuing legal protection for their invention, but it doesn’t mean the patent has been granted yet.

If you hold a patent pending and are considering patent prosecution in the US, consider dealing with a patent attorney to establish your rights and to receive guidance in this relatively complex area of the law.

What Is the Reason For a Patent Pending Status?


The purpose of having a patent pending status is to allow the inventor to commercially use their invention while they wait for the patent to be granted by the patent office. During this time, the inventor can use the words “patent pending” in the form of a patent pending notice and a patent-pending serial number on their marketing materials.

A provisional patent application establishes an earlier filing date and can be filed before the complete nonprovisional patent application. Provisional patent applications are often used to quickly secure a filing date while the inventor continues to develop and refine the invention.

When Does the Patent Pending Status Start?


Patent pending status starts as soon as the patent office receives the patent application and lasts until the patent is either approved or rejected. During this time, the public is put on notice that the inventor is seeking patent protection and cannot be sued for patent infringement. However, it’s important to note that this legal protection only applies if the pending patent is granted.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reviews the patent application to ensure it meets the legal requirements and doesn’t infringe on existing patents. If the patent is approved, the inventor is granted a utility patent, which provides complete legal protection for the invention for 20 years from the filing date.

The Patent Act and the rules of the USPTO regulate the pending patent status. In addition, the USPTO has specific regulations and procedures for obtaining and maintaining patent pending status.

There are situations in which the pending patent status can change. For example, if the patent office determines that the invention is not eligible for a patent or is too similar to an existing one, the pending patent application status may be withdrawn. In other cases, the inventor may withdraw the patent application, or the patent may be granted to someone else.

A patent pending status can be an essential tool for inventors and companies to use to protect their inventions and prevent others from copying their ideas.

The patent pending period can also be an important time for inventors to assess their invention’s market potential and determine whether it is worth the time, effort, and expense to pursue a patent.

The laws relating to pending patent status are found in Title 35 of the United States Code, which governs the operation of the USPTO.

    What Are the Benefits of Having a Patent Pending Status?


    Having a pending patent application status provides several benefits to the inventor, including:

    • The ability to commercially exploit the invention while they wait for the patent to be granted

    • The ability to use the term “patent pending” as a warning to potential competitors

    • The ability to secure investment in their invention

    Additionally, a patent pending status can provide the inventor with some negotiating leverage when seeking funding or licensing agreements for the invention.

    What Is the Difference Between a Patent Pending Status and a Granted Patent?


    A patent pending status is a legal status assigned to an invention or product that has been filed for a patent with the patent office but has not yet been granted. During this time, the inventor’s invention is under consideration for a patent.

    On the other hand, a granted patent is a legal status assigned to an invention or product that has been granted a patent by the patent office and is protected from infringement. A granted patent provides legal protection for the inventor’s rights and allows the inventor to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing the invention into the country.

    What Are the Benefits of Working with a Patent Attorney?


    An attorney can help someone search for information about a patent’s pending status by providing guidance and support throughout the application process. An attorney can assist with preparing and filing the patent application, negotiating with the patent office, and protecting the inventor’s rights during the pending period. Additionally, an attorney can advise you on legally exploiting the invention and preserving the inventor’s rights until the patent is granted.

    A patent attorney can guide you through the process, help you determine whether your invention is eligible, and assist you in preparing and filing a patent application. Additionally, a patent attorney can provide representation in any disputes or infringement cases that may arise related to your patent pending status.

    Talk to an attorney at the Evergreen Valley Law Group for advice on how to get a patent or if you have questions about obtaining a patent pending status. Our experienced patent attorneys can provide the guidance and support you need to protect your invention and obtain a patent pending status and a granted patent. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

    Frequently Asked Questions


    What Is the Process for Obtaining a Patent Pending Status?

    The process for obtaining a pending patent status varies depending on the country in which the patent is filed. In the United States, the process involves:

    • Filing a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
    • Paying the required fees
    • Following the specific rules and procedures set by the USPTO

    The process can take several years and may involve several rounds of review by the USPTO before the status of the patent-pending application is granted.

    Can You Legally Sell a Product With a Patent Pending Status?

    Yes, selling a product with a pending patent status is legal, but it is essential to keep in mind that the patent-pending status provides limited protection. The inventor may take legal action against anyone who infringes upon their patent rights, but they do not have the complete security of a granted patent.

    How Long Does it Take to Obtain a Patent Pending Status?

    The length of time it takes to obtain a patent pending status can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as:

    • The complexity of the invention
    • The backlog of applications at the USPTO
    • The speed with which the inventor responds to any USPTO requests for additional information

    On average, it can take several months to several years to obtain a patent pending status, but the actual time can vary greatly.

    Can a Patent Pending Status be Lost?

    A pending patent status can be lost if the inventor fails to file the application correctly or the USPTO determines that the invention is not patentable. This can happen, for example, if the inventor fails to respond to a request for additional information from the USPTO within a specific timeframe or if the USPTO determines that the invention is not novel or non-obvious.