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July 24, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Patent or a Patent Search, and What Does Patent Pending Mean?

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Our next question is, how long is the process the patent process once the application is submitted until it is approved? And what happens next? Okay, it's a great question to end on, because it has a lot of parts involved. So this would be the last question. But the first step, and I love the How long does it take questions because a lot of inventors are anxious to get their idea out to market. And they want to know how long they have to wait before they can start telling others about it, trying to sell the idea getting a licensee to get and bring it to market. So the first step and is Debbie, we're going to type this in the first step is the patent search. So and I want to go in and explain quickly what a patent search is. A patent search is research that a patent attorney does to make sure that the idea is not already patented. So the first step, and the patent search in that sense for an attorney is very similar to an x ray for a doctor, the first step is to do a patent search, make sure that the idea is not already out there. So because the question is, like how long, there's Part A, B, C, D, and E take, I'll go through the how long for each one, the patent search typically takes seven to 10 days for the patent search. So that's, that's the first step, you absolutely need to have the patent search done. Or I recommend you have it done before you file for the patent. I can't say it's not required. But you don't want to try to reinvent the wheel. So if somebody already has your idea patented, you don't want to go through the time and expense of filing for a patent. So once the patent search is done, the second step is a period of patent pending. And that is either there's different types of utility patents, provisional and non provisional. But generally, the path to get to patent pending, takes about 12 weeks. So once you are done with the patent search, that's the next step is to get your idea to patent pending. As soon as you are patent pending, the idea is protected. And you no longer have to keep it confidential. You can start marketing, you could start sales, you can start make all those efforts as soon as it's patent pending. Now, the final step is at which point is it patented. And that could take two to three years on average. I don't want inventors to get discouraged, because the two to three years is not a time period that you can start selling the product or bringing the product to market. A lot of incredibly successful products have been launched, while the patent is still pending. So as far as the total wait time, you're really looking at seven to 10 days for the search, followed by approximately 12 weeks for the application.

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