What does patent pending mean

The term patent pending is a very common word you get to hear when you search about patenting your own invention. It is important to have a clear idea of patent pending status when you have or going to have an invention of your own.

We know that for having a patent we need to file an application in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is the sole authority for granting a patent, after a thorough examination of the application in the United States. We will discuss further, “what does patent pending mean” in our article.

The status or the period between the filing of an application for patent and the granting of a patent is known as patent pending.

What does patent pending mean:

A common question comes to everyone’s mind is, “what does patent pending mean?” The very simple answer to it is, patent pending is a weapon that can be used by the inventor for safeguarding his invention or the idea of the invention from being copied by anyone else.

The USPTO provides a serial number after an application for grant of a patent is filed, which is the patent pending serial number. This serial number can be used by the applicant to prevent his invention or the idea of the invention from being copied.

Legal status of patent pending:

The mere status of patent pending cannot let you sue anyone if he/she copies your invention or the idea of the invention which is in the status of patent pending. The infringement of your right occurs only when the patent has been granted by the office. Instead of this legal status, the patent pending serial number is of highly important as you can use it for the public to be aware and keep your competitors in the bay, by letting them know you have already filed the application for grant of the patent.

Advantages of patent pending status:

It is completely the decision of the inventor to use the patent pending status on marketing or ad campaigns or packaging of the product.

  • Firstly, the benefit of using the status is about creating an awareness amongst the people that an application for grant of a patent for the product has already been made.
  • Secondly, the use of patent pending status on the product makes a strong evidence if there occurs an infringement of your right and you have to go to court.
  • Thirdly, the status helps you get an order of injunction if anyone tries to infringe your intellectual property right.

These above-mentioned benefits of the status answer the question, “what does patent pending mean?” very appropriately making it easy to understand. It is completely the choice of the applicant to use the status for marketing, ad campaigns or packaging. But misuse of the status or use of the status without applying for a patent to the USPTO can bring you under legal action.

Importance of patent pending status:

Acquiring a patent is a time-consuming matter when it comes to the United States. It may be much easier in some other countries compared to the united states. The USPTO examines the application for grant of a patent on a thorough basis. It not only ensures that previously no same thing has been patented but also whether the matter is patentable under the patent law. This process involves quite a time.

For the protection of your right, you should file the application as early as possible because the date of filing plays a major role in determining who will get the patent when any other person copies your idea and files application for patent. The sooner you file an application for a patent you get the patent pending serial number which ensures your right even on the event of theft.

Provisional and non-provisional patent application:

There are basically two types of patent application, provisional and non-provisional. The first kind is for securing an early date of filing and place in the list of applicants. The provisional patent is not so detailed and costs much less than the non-provisional. But a patent cannot be granted on the provisional one and also not examined by the USPTO.

By filing the provisional patent application you can use the patent pending status. But there is a time limit of 12 months from the date of filing of the provisional application you have to file the non-provisional patent application, in non-compliance to which you will lose the patent pending status.

The patent pending status sets in from the date of filing of a patent application to the date you receive the patent or withdraw your application.

This article is expected to clear all ifs and buts related to “what does patent pending mean”.

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