Patent Pending Process, Meaning, Search & Status – How It Works

Understanding the patent pending process, the meaning of that term, and how to search for your patent’s status are vital. They are an essential part of acquiring intellectual property protection, helping ensure your businesses’ success. By obtaining a patent, you will acquire exclusive rights to your invention. But what happens during the registration process while your idea is patent pending?

We will discuss these concerning the patent process, patent pending status, searching for existing patents, and checking your patent application status.

Before adventuring out, it might be helpful to know “4 Essential Questions to Ask When Hiring a Patent Attorney” or “Should You Hire a Patent Attorney?

Table Of Contents

How Does The Pending Patent Process Work?

patent pending process how does it work

The patent process entailed in obtaining a patent can be lengthy. It is a fairly complex process that often takes several years to complete.

Once an inventor files a patent application with the patent office (USPTO), it is immediately granted patent pending status. However, it must then go through an extended, rigorous examination. This approach will determine if it meets certain criteria for patentability. The examination involves a review of existing patents to ensure that the invention is new and non-obvious. If the USPTO approves the application, they will grant the inventor a patent. This will give them exclusive rights to their invention.

It’s important to note that just because an invention is marked as patent pending, it does not necessarily mean that it will be granted a patent. The authorities may deny the patent application or request additional submissions or alterations before approving it in some cases.

Additionally, even if an inventor is granted a patent, they may still need to defend their intellectual property in court if someone infringes on that patent. If you have multiple ideas (inventions) that you would like to protect, you will need to file multiple patent applications. Be sure to provide notice of your pending patents to potential infringers.

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What Is The Definition of Patent Pending?

The phrase “patent pending” denotes an application that is undergoing the process of being examined by an examiner through the patent office. This will take time and may involve several stages of examination based on the novelty and usefulness of an invention.

The “patent pending” status starts when the application has been filed. Most patents take at least two years of assessment to reach issuance. Your invention holds a patent pending status while waiting for the USPTO to approve or deny the patent application. The waiting period lasts from the time of application submission until the point when the patent is granted or denied.

What Does Patent Pending Mean?

The words “patent pending” refer to an invention or product that has a patent application filed with the United States Patent Office (USPTO). During this time, an inventor can mark their product or invention as patent pending.

This will let others know that you have legal protection for the invention that you have filed an application for. It will also, alert competitors and deter others from copying or stealing your invention. This applies while the filed patent application is reviewed, and before you receive approval for your patent registration.

Understanding THe Patent Pending Status

patent pending status

While securing a patent can be complex, obtaining a patent pending status serves to protect your inventive rights. It also delivers valuable benefits while awaiting potential patent approval. “Patent pending” means what it plainly states: your patent application is pending with the USPTO.

To get your patent to a patent pending status, you must first ensure that your invention is novel. Conduct research on your own before seeking out representation to avoid any potential infringement on your part.

When seeking a patent attorney, they will assist you with a prior art search to ensure your idea is novel. This will supplement your own individual prior research. Your attorney will then work to draft an initial patent application.

Work with your counsel to ensure the application filed with the USPTO completely encompasses every aspect of your idea. Make sure the application remains as inclusive as possible to include all potential commercial iterations of the proposed product.

Application Has Been Filed – What’s Next?

Once the draft is finalized to both you and your counsel’s satisfaction, they will submit the filing on your behalf. Once that submission has been sent to the US Patent and Trademark Office, your application will be patent pending. This will establish a filing date that will predate all potential infringing entities.

You will also receive a serial number from the USPTO that is associated with your filing in their system. You can provide this to potential competitors. This notifies them that you will likely have a registered patent in the near future for your invented material. This establishes legal notice of potential legal action if you were to file a lawsuit against this entity going forward.

From the time your patent is filed, you will receive a patent pending notice. From that point on until it is ultimately registered or receives a final rejection, you will be patent pending. This can take anywhere from several months to 2 to 3 years. If you have numerous inventions that you would like to protect, you will have to file numerous patent applications.

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What is The Difference Between Granted Patents vs. Patent Pending?

The difference between a granted patent and a patent pending patent application is the patent protection afforded to each. When a patent applicant submits their initial filing with intent on patenting an idea, they receive a patent pending notice.

When an application is approved by the USPTO, a patent registration is granted to the applicant. The applicant, now called a registrant, can utilize the legal effect of this patent. By doing this, they will ensure that they protect the idea encompassed by the approved patent.

The Patent Pending Search Process

patent pending search

As an inventor, researching prior patents or filed patent applications is essential in determining if your invention is unique.

The patent pending search process is an important step in the patent application process. It involves searching for existing patents or patent applications that may be similar to your own invention or product.

This search is essential as it can show you whether your invention is unique and capable of being patented.

You can conduct a patent pending search through various online platforms. Such as Google Patents or the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) database. These will help you identify existing or pending application materials that may be similar to your invention.

Hire Patent Attorney for a Patent Search

You can also hire a patent attorney to conduct a patent search for you. During the search process, an attorney will review any relevant patents or applications. This is to determine if they are similar to your own invention.

If you find a similar patent or application, it may affect your ability to patent your idea. However, it’s important to note that not all similar inventions will prevent you from obtaining a patent. Patentability will ultimately be determined through an assessment of the specifications for each invention and how they differ from one another.

It’s also important to note that conducting a thorough patent search can be time-consuming and complex. It requires knowledge of the patent laws and the ability to interpret technical language used in patents. For this reason, many inventors choose to hire a patent lawyer to conduct a patent search for them.

Overall, conducting a patent search is an essential step in the patent application process. It can help you identify potential roadblocks in obtaining a patent. By conducting a thorough search, you can increase your chances of obtaining a successful patent application.

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How to Check the Filing Status of Your Pending Patent Application?

patent pending check filing status

To check the filing status of your pending patent application, verify whether the application is public or private. If you choose to have your pending patent application published, you can check this yourself. However, if the pending patent application is private, you will need to have your counsel check it for you. They can check with the United States Patent and Trademark database, known as the Patent Center.

NOTE: The Public PAIR System (Patent Application Information Retrieval) is now referred to as “Patent Center.”

If your application has been made publicly available, it is considered a published patent application. You can check its status by visiting the Patent Center. This service is operated by the Trademark Office (USPTO).

To achieve this, visit the Patent Center website. Input the patent pending application number (serial number) associated with your patent application. This will provide you with a status update on your patent application.

Remember, if the application has been submitted to the USPTO privately, it will be located in the Private PAIR system. Only your counsel will be able to retrieve the status of that application for you.

More information on checking the status of your pending patent application can be located on the USPTO’s website.

What is the Patent Pending Symbol and Logo?

patent pending symbol

To communicate that your invention has a patent-pending designation, you can display the words “Patent Pending” or “Pat. Pend.” on your product or related marketing materials. When a product is marked “patent pending,” it warns a potential infringer of possible legal action. Other parties, including most companies you are attempting to notify, understand what the words “patent pending” means.

A demand letter will provide a potential infringer with actual notice of the legal risk associated with further infringement. Sending it via certified mail will provide you with a mailing receipt. This is proof that they have received actual notice.

However, there is no specific logo or symbol universally recognized to represent a patent pending status. It’s important to note that falsely using these notices without a valid application can lead to legal repercussions.

What Happens Next After Patent is Granted?

what happens next after patent is granted

After your patent is granted and issued by the USPTO, you will receive a registration certificate. To maintain this registration, you will need to pay occasional maintenance fees, which can be submitted by your legal representation. More information on these fees can be located on the USPTO’s website.

Additionally, once the USPTO approves your application and your patent registration has been issued, you can pursue potential infringers. This will prevent them from stealing, infringing, or profiting from your patented material. You can stop someone from producing the same product that your business does if your patent covers those products.

Do You Need a Patent Attorney to Get a Patent Pending?

No, it is not mandatory to hire an attorney to file a patent application and obtain a patent pending status. However, the patent application and patent filing process can be overwhelming. If you are filing this on your own, it will require a thorough understanding of how the filing process works. It will also require knowledge of patent laws.

Patent lawyers know how to help you obtain intellectual property protection by receiving patent protection on your idea.

Therefore, we advise that you seek a knowledgeable lawyer or agent to help you through the process. They can help you avoid costly mistakes and help you ensure that the USPTO will grant your patent. They can also provide valuable advice on patentability, infringement, and licensing issues.

Ultimately, hiring a patent lawyer depends on your level of expertise in patent law and how much you can spend.

What Happens If Someone Steals My Invention During the Pending Process?

If someone steals your invention during the patent pending process, you may have legal options available to protect your rights. However, there are specific actions you can take. This will depend on the stage of the pending filed patent application and the nature of the theft.

steals your patent idea or invention

If you have already filed a patent application and received a filing date, that is evidence of your priority date.

If someone files a similar or identical product patent application after your filing date, it may be rejected. However, if someone recreates your invention before you file a patent application, it may be difficult to prove ownership.

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Hire a Patent Lawyer for Patent Pending Infringement

Patent infringement is a serious matter, especially if the infringing party willfully infringed. When you have been afforded patent protection by the USPTO, hiring a patent lawyer can help you. The attorney will gather evidence of the patent infringement or theft and begin with cease and desist letters. If that does not persuade them, then they will pursue legal action if necessary.

They can also help you evaluate whether to continue with the pending patent application or pursue other protection. In either case, it is important to consult a qualified patent attorney who can best advise you.

Get Started By Hiring Us to Receive Your Patent Pending

get started today to begin patent pending your idea (invention)

Do you want to secure your invention, become a patent owner, and receive full legal protection? Are you interested in ensuring that all avenues to prevent others from taking what is yours have been explored?

At the Leavitt & Eldredge Law Firm, we specialize in helping inventors and businesses like you protect their intellectual property. We are versed in the nuances of IP law. We can effectively ensure that you completely understand and will work to enforce your legal rights.

Our team of attorneys and agents have a thorough understanding of patent law and regulations. We will guide you through the complex process of obtaining a patent. With our help, you can focus your energy on developing your invention.

Hiring us ensures that your patent application is drafted correctly, filed on time, and meets all legal requirements for patentability. We will work closely with you to understand your invention and ensure that all novel components of it are protected.

So, why wait? Don’t let someone else steal your idea or profit from your hard work. Get started today by hiring us to work towards your patent pending status. Take the first step towards protecting your invention.


Is patent pending a good thing?

A patent pending status can be a good thing because it indicates that you have taken steps to protect your invention. When a patent is pending, the USPTO reviews your application. However, this status does not provide the same level of legal protection as a granted patent.

What can I do with patent pending?

Now that you have a patent pending status, you can deter your competitors from copying your invention. You will be able market your product as “patent pending” while you are waiting for your patent issuance.

How long can a product be patent pending?

An invention can be patent pending for as long as it takes for the USPTO to review and either grant or deny the patent application. This can take up to several years, depending on how complex the invention is and how backlogged the USPTO is.

Can you look up a patent pending?

Yes, you can look up a patent pending application by searching the USPTO’s online database, which contains information on all pending patent applications that have been filed.

Can I say patent pending?

Yes, you can say “patent pending” to indicate that you have applied for a patent on your invention. The term “patent pending” can be used once a patent application has been filed with the USPTO and while the application is still pending registration.

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