Getting an idea for a new product is exciting. While you might be unsure of where it will lead or whether it will succeed, moving forward with your plans and design is part of the thrill of being an inventor.
As you move forward with your idea, the patent application can seem daunting. The process can take several months and leave you wondering what is happening.
Here’s what you should know about the patent application process and what happens after you send in your application.
The process for approving a patent is typically the longest part. Often, it feels even longer because there is not much you can do to make the process go faster.
The patent office will review your application to ensure that it is complete. If there are issues with your application, such as missing or inaccurate information, you will receive an Office Action.
The action is a letter that asks you to submit the information or correction within a certain number of days. If you fail to resolve the issue with your application, it will either be discarded or returned to you.
Working with an examiner
Once the USPTO has a complete application for your patent, they will assign your file to an examiner. The examiner will go over your application to determine whether it meets the statutory requirements for a patent, including:
- Oath or declaration
If your application does not meet the requirements, the examiner will give you opportunities to make amendments or to argue against the decision. Keep in mind, if you have legal representation, the examiner will communicate directly with your attorney. When an applicant has legal representation, the USPTO does not correspond with both parties.
The patent process can be long and complex. It can be helpful to have an experienced professional to support you and your application.