Patent Pending — Laws, Benefits, and Drawbacks
What does Patent Pending Mean?
The term “patent pending” is frequently used, but what exactly does it imply? In this blog, you will learn everything about patent pending statuses!
The term “Patent Pending” is mostly used to imply that the inventor or patent applicant has filed a Provisional Patent Application (PPA). It could also mean that a non-provisional or complete patent application has been filed with the patent office, but that the patent prosecution is still on and that the patent has not yet been issued. The patent-pending notification is intended to alert possible copycats that if and when the invention is approved, they may be sued if they imitate the idea. It also establishes the fact that a patent application has been submitted, giving it priority over any subsequent patent application for a substantially identical invention.
What Protection is “Patent Pending” Capable of Providing?
The patent approval procedure is time-consuming. It usually takes about two years, but it might take up to five years or longer. In the interim, the “patent pending” status provides some protection to the inventor.
A provisional patent’s patent-pending status is intended to continue for one year. However, if a patent application is refused and subsequently changed and resubmitted, its usage can be prolonged.
The fact that innovation or invention has a patent-pending status does not imply that it will receive legal protection. The disclaimer is just informative in nature. While your patent application is pending, you cannot sue someone for copying your innovation. You might be able to acquire an injunction to stop the product from being manufactured until the review process is completed and the patent is granted.If someone infringes on your idea by creating, using, or selling your innovation, and the patent is later issued, and you label all of the creations with the phrase “Patent” and the patent number, you can sue the copier for patent infringement.
You can post a notice on your goods and any promotional materials once your patent is pending.
It is legal to put a ‘Patent pending’ status in several situations:
- You’ve applied to the USPTO for a provisional, design, or utility patent.
- Within the recent six months, you’ve received an Office Action from the USPTO.
- You’ve gotten a Notice of Allowance from the USPTO and paid the money, but you haven’t yet received a patent.
How to put the patent pending status on goods or products?
There are no defined guidelines for how to indicate that your product is patent pending. Any of the following or similar terms can be used:
- U.S. and Foreign Patents Applied For
- U.S. Patent Applied For
- Pat. Pend.
- U.S. Patent Pending
- Patent Pending
- Patents Pending
- Patent Applied for in the U.S. and Abroad
- Patent Applied For
- U.S. Pat. Pend.
You must use accurate notice. If you’ve only applied in the United States, don’t use U.S. and abroad. Display the notification prominently on your product, website, and other marketing materials.
Is There a Patent Pending Symbol?
Patent pending does not have a standard symbol. There is no standard language to speak in. Most entrepreneurs put “Patent Pending” or “Pat Pend” on their goods or packaging, or both.
When should you not use the words “Patent Pending? And why?
The term “patent pending” must be used in good faith, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In fact, a violation, which is considered a misleading promotion, can result in fines of up to $500.
This is the basic reason why you must avoid using the phrase before actually filing an application.
Do not use the said phrase in these particular scenarios-
- A patent attorney has been hired to prepare a patent application
- A patent attorney sends a draft of the patent application to review
- Your patent application is abandoned
- Your patent application has been granted as a patent
Until your patent is no longer pending with the USPTO, you will get a patent pending notice. The inventor can no longer utilise the patent pending notification without infringing the law when the USPTO grants a patent or the inventor abandons the application. Inventors replace “patent pending” with the patent number whenever they get a patent.
How Much Does Getting a Patent Pending Status Cost?
A provisional patent application can be filed for as little as $130 with the US Patent and Trade Office, however this does not reflect the full costs of acquiring a patent.
The costs of drafting a provisional patent application and a comprehensive patent application differ significantly. A patent attorney should anticipate to charge $10,000 or more for a utility patent application and around $2,000 for a design patent application.
Status of International “Patent Pending”
International “patent pending” status is not conferred by filing a patent application with the USPTO. However, if the US applicant intends to protect the innovation internationally, an application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) can be filed, preserving the applicant’s rights to file in all countries covered by the PCT in the future. Even filing a PCT application does not guarantee that the applicant will be granted “patent pending” status in some countries. Later, the applicant would have to file country-specific applications (also known as a national phase application). If the applicant initially submits a US patent application, the applicant usually has up to 12 months to file the PCT application after that. The applicant has up to 30 or 31 months (depending on the country) to file the PCT application in particular countries from the filing date of the first-filed patent application.
What is the benefit of the patent pending status?
These two words provide greater benefits to inventors and patent applicants than the term “patent pending,” which is used to tell the general public that a related patent has been filed. It serves as a deterrence to potential patent infringers, and if the claimed invention is infringed (stolen or duplicated) during this time, the inventors can file a patent infringement lawsuit once the patent has been issued. Legal action against offenders might result in interim and permanent injunctions, as well as damages to compensate costs. As a result, claimed inventions are unlikely to be duplicated during the “Patent Pending” phase, as corporations are fully aware of the substantial risks connected with patent infringement legal procedures.
A patent is valid for up to 20 years from the filing date of the patent application for utility and plant patents, and 14 years from the date of grant for design patents.
A patent-pending designation can effectively extend that protection for an additional year.
The risk of exposing trade secrets is a possible drawback. A provisional patent application must have sufficient information to support the full patent application that will follow. This could alert competitors to what’s ahead.
A patent attorney is highly recommended for developing the best strategy for obtaining patent pending status. Before offering alternative ways to file for patent protection, the patent attorney will study the intricacies of the innovation, such as whether to file a provisional patent first or a non-provisional patent directly. A prior art search is also recommended before submitting a patent to ensure that no earlier patent or non-patent literature exists that could jeopardize the invention’s patentability. The patent-pending designation also lets investors know that your invention is close to perfection, a fact that can help you to secure startup funding.
Going from patent-pending to getting a patent granted is a tricky process, but you can navigate it successfully when you employ qualified and efficient legal help.
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office