Patent Pending

Patent Pending

How to Get Patent Pending and what it means.

You may well have seen the words 'patent pending' on a product you have bought and wondered what it meant. 'Patent pending' means that the inventor has applied for a patent but it is still in the process of being looked at by a Patent Office and therefore may or may not be granted.

Patent protection may be possible for your idea, or elements of your idea, or possibly with a view to further versions of your idea. Grant of a patent is never guaranteed, and protection may take some time to come into effect and will cost significantly more to obtain, especially internationally.

However, ‘Patent Pending’ protection is generally very helpful, to many commercial ventures, for a variety of reasons. The patent application will not typically be available for other parties until after 18 months and once filed you notionally have international ‘Patent Pending’ protection for 12 months as you can extend your application abroad at any time during those 12 months.

'Patent pending' usually means that the inventor or company are waiting for the patent to be granted and this is just a question of time until the patent office have completed their examination. Sometimes it is best to wait until the patent has been granted before beginning production, but often companies wish to market their new ideas quickly to maximise sales before a competitor has a similar idea. It may even be possible to license or sell a pending patent application.

Before the patent has been granted an individual or company can contest the patent if they feel that it breaches an already existing patent for a product of their own design.

It is illegal to use the phrase 'Patent Pending' until after you have made your application for a patent and you have received the patent filing receipt. If you use "Patent Pending" before filing an application or without filing an application at all then you may be in contravention of local laws and could be liable to a large fine or even a prison sentence.

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