What Does Patent Pending Mean and Can it Protect Your Invention?
Patent pending refers to an invention that has filed for a patent application. This article explains what this means and how it can protect your creation.
A patent pending application offers the first level of protection due to its priority date. In the United States, this date determines who was the earliest filer to secure a patent for an idea claimed in that particular patent application.
The term “patent pending” describes an invention that has been protected by a patent application but has yet to receive a final determination from the USPTO. This status can be granted to applicants of both provisional and non-provisional patent applications.
Inventors may use the term to signify that they are taking steps to safeguard their invention. Doing so can deter potential competitors from copying the underlying concept and shows the inventor is serious about safeguarding their idea and has invested a great deal in that process.
Once a patent application is filed, it usually takes several months before the invention is granted. During this time, inventors can continue marketing and selling their product while also having the option to license it out to another party.
Though an inventor cannot enforce their rights against potential infringers until a patent is awarded, the patent pending designation can be effective in deterring competition during this period. This is especially useful if the startup costs of producing and selling the invention are high.
It can also be employed to induce a potential competitor into making an agreement with the inventor while their application is still under consideration. Companies often prefer this solution than risk producing and marketing an invention only to find out that its patent will not be issued until after they have invested considerable resources into manufacturing it and marketing it.
Due to its often misunderstood status, the term “patent pending” can be misused in certain contexts. This could lead to legal issues and a hefty fine.
Advertisement and marketing materials may use this phrase, but it must be clearly stated that an invention is pending. While not required by law to mark products with this notice, failing to do so could amount to false marketing and could result in a fine for each good sold with that phrase attached.
If you have any doubts about whether your invention has been properly marked as a pending patent, consulting with a lawyer is your best course of action. They can give you an understanding of the patent pending process and guide you through each step necessary to successfully register your invention as a pending patent.
What does patent pending mean and how can it protect your invention? Developing and protecting an invention is costly, so taking proactive steps to secure it before others do makes sense. Plus, with a successful patent application, you could potentially triple the value of your investment! It’s worth taking this risk!
It’s essential to recognize that you don’t need a working prototype in order to maximize the benefits of your patented invention. A qualified patent attorney can show you how to go from nothing to a patented product in no time.
The scope of your patent application is an essential factor to consider. The specification is one of the most essential pieces, so make sure you maximize your chances for getting granted a patent. The specification serves as the blueprint for everything from claim formation to prosecution, so making sure not to miss out on a patented masterpiece is vital.
Additionally, the patent holder’s office likely boasts an expansive network of fellow inventors and companies interested in your product. As such, creating an expert network is the key to unlocking your patent’s greatest potential.
Finally, having a lawyer by your side is paramount for successfully navigating the United States patent system. Not only will they assist in navigating its confusing maze, but they’ll also protect your patented invention and help take your business to new heights.
A patent pending application is an invention that is being reviewed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), but has yet to be granted. As such, third parties cannot use it without permission from the patent owner.
The United States has adopted the first-to-file priority law to align its patent system with international systems and make it simpler for applicants to secure protection in multiple jurisdictions. Under this law, applicants have a ‘right of priority’ to file patent applications in any Paris Convention or World Trade Organization member state within 12 months from the filing date of their earliest patent application, provided that this right is properly claimed by subsequent filed patent applications.
Alternatively, applicants can claim priority over one or more patent applications that have been filed in the United States but have not yet been granted by filing a nonprovisional application or continuing application. This claim of priority typically arises when developing a portfolio of patents around cornerstone technology or important to the applicant’s business operations.
An inventor may wish to keep their invention as a trade secret until the patent application claiming priority to the provisional patent application has been published or granted, in order to safeguard their intellectual property from competitors or potential investors who might wish to utilize it.
Another advantage of a provisional application is that it serves as an interim filing date, up to one year, until the inventor is ready to proceed with regular patent application. This earlier filing date can establish valid priority claims to later-filed nonprovisional applications which then serve to evaluate whether any written publications or documents constitute prior art against the inventor’s patent claims.
Furthermore, a priority claim to an international or foreign patent application can be advantageous in order to safeguard rights in rapidly expanding markets. Many applicants take advantage of this by filing a provisional application before filing a nonprovisional one in order to claim the earliest possible priority date for their patent.
Patent pending refers to an invention that has been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), but which has yet to receive a patent. Inventors can use a patent pending application to market their creation, while potential competitors are cautioned that they may infringe upon the patent if they lift it or implement it without permission.
A patent pending application provides limited protection. It won’t stop competitors from copying your idea and it cannot stop them from selling it on. Nonetheless, it helps discourage them from creating and marketing a similar product since doing so would be illegal once the patent is issued.
Patented inventions are legally protected for up to 20 years from the date they were granted, as patents are considered legal rights rather than just options for inventors.
If a competitor produces and sells the same product or approach that has already been patented, they will have to pay penalties for infringement. These fines are usually retroactive, meaning they could be doubled or even tripled in amount.
Companies and individuals often display the phrase “patent pending” on their products, packaging or materials to demonstrate that they have filed a patent for their invention. This can also be done on the company website as a marketing ploy that communicates to customers and investors that some aspect of the product has been innovative enough to warrant protection under law.
Entrepreneurs and inventors must be aware of global patent laws before they release a new product. Those concerned about infringement should consult an experienced patent attorney for guidance on the best course of action.
Some companies may choose to label a product with a patent pending statement in an effort to deter competitors from copying or utilizing the idea.