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How Quickly Can You File A Patent Application?

I get calls from inventors all the time who want to know how quickly they can file a patent application. This question usually arises because the inventors are in a hurry to start selling their invention, to publish their invention, or to talk with investors. The short answer to this question is: you can file patent application as soon as it's ready. The filing process itself is electronic and nearly instantaneous. However, for the purposes of this post, it will be assumed that you will have a patent attorney help you draft your patent application. And that takes time. There is no set limit for how long it takes to prepare a patent application. However, most patent applications take about 30 to 40 hours to draft. This estimate includes the initial inventor interview when the patent attorney interviews the inventor to learn as much as possible about the invention. This estimate also includes the process of drafting the patent application and revising the patent application based on inventor feedback. This estimate does not include a patentability search or a freedom to operate search. Those are usually separate, optional services. Typically, the process from start to finish takes about 3-5 weeks,…

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How Quickly Can You Get A Patent?

One of the most common misconceptions that I run into is the idea that it takes many years to get a patent application issued as a US patent. This is false. The truth is: it CAN take years for a patent application to issue as a US Patent. However, you CAN choose to have your patent application issue as a U.S. Patent in as little as a few months. How quickly a patent application can issue as a US patent critically depends upon which filing strategy you use and how quickly you can reach agreement with a US patent examiner. If you choose to file a regular priority US non-provisional utility patent application, then the United States Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) will examine your patent application for patentability in an average of 16 to 18 months. This average means that your patent application stands little or no chance of being allowed in less than a year and a half. But what if you are ready to start selling right now?!? Did you know that you can pay to go to the front of the line? That’s right! You can choose to file a PRIORITIZED non-provisional patent application that the USPTO…

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How Long Does It Take To Get A Patent?

One of the most common questions I get is: how long does it take to get a patent? My question in response could be: How long do you want it to take? The longest I've seen a patent application take to issue as a US patent was about 10 years. The least amount of time I’ve seen for a patent application to issue as a US patent was 2 months flat. The time it takes to get a US patent depends on the filing strategy used, how quickly you can reach agreement with the examiner, and how much money you have to spend on getting a patent. First and foremost, there is no guarantee that your patent application will issue as a US patent at all. For example, I've seen many patent applications go abandoned because the inventors ran out of money during the patent application process. This may be due to changing economic conditions such as the COVID-19 pandemic or an inability to reach agreement with the examiner until the inventor’s funds are depleted. But most of the time, how long it takes for a patent to issue depends on your business needs. For example, many pharmaceutical companies and…

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Is a Provisional Patent Application Right for You?

One of the most common questions I get is: should I file a provisional patent application? The answer to this question depends on what you need. To put this answer into context, it's important to understand what a provisional application is and what a provisional patent application is not. A provisional patent application is basically an official letter to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that a basically says: you want to file a patent application, but you're not quite ready yet. But if you do, you want to hold your place in line. In other words, a provisional patent application is a confidential placeholder that holds your place at the patent office for up to one year. Now let's talk about what a provisional patent application is not. A provisional patent application is not a patent application that can issue as a US patent. This point is so important that I'll repeat it. A provisional patent application - by itself - will never result in a US patent. A provisional patent application can only serve to secure a priority date for a non-provisional patent application. Provisional Patent Application = Confidential + Placeholder + Up to 1 year.…

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