Hi, I'm John Rizvi, the patent professor. A utility patent application defines the nature and use of a new product or process and its applications. One of the most common questions I get when a non provisional utility patent is filed is what happens next. Well once the patent application is filed, the process is just getting started. The Patent Office has to review the patent documents and determine whether the invention is patentable because the patent office has a lot of filings to review. This takes time. Sometimes the patent office will just accept the application and move on. But this is rare. Often, the patent office will decide that the application is too similar to or not unique enough from other existing patents or filings. Many inexperienced inventors make the mistake of thinking this is the end of the road, and their patent application is rejected. In reality, this is an invitation from the patent office to explain to the examiner how the invention varies from the other patents that the examiner has found. The patent office may misunderstand the filing, or think that your invention is too similar to something else that has been filed in the past. Sometimes this can be corrected by filing an amendment document that demonstrates why the patent is different. The patent office may accept or reject the argument or request further clarification. If the patent application is accepted at any point, it moves to being issued and printed by the patent office. If it is not, then the process is repeated. The key here is to find the right mix of phrasing and language to showcase the uniqueness of your patent and why it is actually patentable. The goal here is not to give up. I've helped a lot of inventors get through the confusing and sometimes frustrating patent process. A statement from the patent office that your invention is not patentable does not mean you don't have a viable invention. Work with me, the patent professor to make sure you don't lose your patent.
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