When you’re deciding if you should file a patent, then it is good to know the patent filing timeline. You must understand the duration of the process so that you can prepare yourself for the upcoming months. Generally, it takes about 22 months for getting a patent approval with the USPTO. The whole patent registration process involves different stages of the patent application process which make up the patent filing timeline. Therefore, you should be aware of all the deadlines and response times so that the entire procedure goes smoothly. We’ll be focusing on the timeline of a non-provisional application. Read about provisional patent filing here.
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What are the steps comprising the patent filing timeline?
Let’s understand every single step of the patent process and the amount of time it is likely to consume. Each step in the patent filing timeline has equal importance. Hence, you must ensure you devote a decent amount of time to them. They are as follows.
Duration: 1 week to 6 months
This step involves extensive searching for prior art to check the patentability of your invention. If your invention is novel, non-obvious and functional, then you can get a patent for it. This search confirms whether or not you should go ahead with the process. Hence, you should invest a lot of time on this step in order to be thorough.
2. Drafting the Patent Application
Duration: 2 weeks to 1 month
It is vital to draft your patent application properly. Needless to say, everything depends on the quality of your draft. So you must make sure that you cover everything in your draft. This includes perfecting your description, patent claims, and patent illustrations. Hence, spending a lot of time on perfecting your draft is highly advisable.
3. Patent Filing and Prosecution Process
Duration: 12 months to 32 months
This is the longest step in the patent filing timeline. A non-provisional patent application goes into the USPTO database for a publication on the USPTO website. This is done to put the invention’s information in the public domain as a part of the public disclosure of the invention. After this, the USPTO queues your application for an exam. In addition, there are variations in the time it takes for your application to reach the desk of an examiner. We’ll talk about them further below.
The average time an examiner takes to review an application is 21 months. Furthermore, you need to wait for about 32 months to get a patent. But, the time duration depends on your interactions with your examiner. Once he is through with his examination, he will send you a report, which is an office action. This will contain the technical and non-technical errors in your application. Ultimately, you need to fix all of these in order for your application to get a patent grant.
Variances in a Patent Filing Timeline
Your wait period can vary depending on the type of application you file, the invention type, and the priority status. You can get priority status by paying more money so that you can have an expedited process.
- Track One: This is a type of priority you can get for your application. The goal is to provide a final disposition within 12 months of receiving priority status. You must note that you can file 4 independent claims and no more than 30 claims in this.
- Accelerated Examination: This provides the applicant with the opportunity to have a final disposition within 12 months. It is similar to track one but it has its differences. For starters, it costs less. The downside is that it limits your claims to 3 independent claims and 20 claims in total. Another downside is that to acquire this priority status, you will have to pass an interview.
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The patent filing timeline can become long and tedious if you are not careful. You may feel the need to take the assistance of a patent professional. It is important to keep all the steps and deadlines in mind. You should consider engaging a patent professional / firm who has years of experience in the patent field. Consider The Patent Filing Company to cater to your needs. We offer complete support for provisional patent application filing, design & utility patent Applications, patentability search reports, non-provisional patent application filing, patent drawings and much more.
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