Sometimes the patent application process can seem confusing. While the idea might be yours with no similar ideas to threaten your patent, waiting for official word that you have a patent can be frustrating.
During the application process, you may start to wonder what steps you can take to market your idea while you are waiting for your patent application. Fortunately, you likely do not have to wait for an official patent to get started on developing your business.
Here’s what you should know about getting your patent decision and what you can do in the meantime.
The waiting game
The patent process can take a long time. It can take months or over a year for some patents to complete the process and have an official patent.
If you are new to getting a patent, you may feel the need to play it safe and not make any moves until you receive word from the U.S. Patent Office that your patent is approved. Although that is one option, it is not the only one you have available.
As you look at products, you may recall seeing some that say “patent pending” on them. It can seem like an arbitrary designation, but it can help you start marketing your product and funding its production.
Parent pending is a designation you can put on your product when you have a patent application in progress. While you do not have an official patent yet, the patent-pending designation allows you to move forward as though you do have the patent.
Keep in mind that while the patent-pending label will protect your idea, if the U.S. Patent Office finds a preexisting patent or another inventor has a prior claim, you could be asked to cease production and may need to shut down your business.