Patent Status: How to Know

Patent status determines that whether your patent application is in pending status or the application has got the patent grant. Checking the status of your patent application is easy through the United States Patent Office and Trademark Office (USTPO) system. Also, patents for inventions under review by the USPTO carry a patent-pending status until the USPTO grants a patent. The status of your patent application is available through the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. In addition, PAIR gives access to the status of your patent application as well as the status of issued patents.

Patent Status: Key Points

After you submit a patent application to the USPTO, your invention carries a patent-pending status. Patent-pending status begins at the date you file your patent application. Also, patent-pending ends when the USPTO grants the patent or you abandon your application.

You can find the status of your patent application through PAIR by accessing PAIR through the USPTO website. So, to find the status of a patent on PAIR, enter the patent information under “Select New Case.” Also, you can find relevant information from PAIR that relates to your application.

  • Bibliographic Data

You can find basic information such as application number, filing date, inventor, patent status, invention title, and patent issue date and number.

  • Image File Wrapper

The documents that the patent applicant or the patent office files can be seen here. Also, one can download most documents here but you cannot download some documents known as non-patent literature. Documents that predate 2003 aren’t available on PAIR.

  • Continuity

Continuity shows information about patents and applications that relate to your invention.

  • Fees

You can find the information on fees due in this section. Patent fees are due 3 1/2 years, 7 1/2 years and 11 1/2 years after one issues a patent. Furthermore, payments must be made within six months before or after the due date. Payments made after the due date are subject to extra fees.

  • Address and Attorney

This shows the mailing address for the patent holder and information on the patent lawyer.

  • Display References

Prior art references including patents, applications, and publications.

Importance of Patent Status:

As the United States is a first-to-file country, itgives you priority in receiving a patent for your invention. In other words, the first person to file a patent application for an invention receives the patent. If you abandon an application, you lose first-to-file rights.

Related Article: Things to Do Before Patenting Something

Patent status lets you market your invention with less risk of theft. Hence, patent-pending status doesn’t give legal protection however; it does deter theft of ideas.

  • Others are less likely to copy a patent-pending invention because copying could lead to a lawsuit if you receive your patent.
  • Patent status deters similar applications because the first applicant has first-to-file rights.

You can legally copy, produce, and sell a patent-pending invention. However, you can sue copiers for royalties upon patent approval. Royalties are payments you receive when others use your invention which has a patent grant. Hence, provisional rights are your rights to sue for royalties dating to the time before a patent’s issue date.

If someone copies your invention while it’s patent status is pending, you can:

  • Ask the USPTO to speed up your application review.
  • Ask the copier to stop making or selling the invention.
  • Let the copier continue making or selling the invention. A copier may create a demand for your invention, which can allow you to more easily market your invention.

If your invention’s patent status is pending, you should mark the status of your product, it’s packaging and its marketing materials. Patent-pending marks can take several forms:

  • “Patent pending” or “U.S. patent pending”.
  • “Patents pending,” if you have multiple applications for an invention.
  • “Patent applied for” or “U.S. patent applied for”.
  • “U.S. and foreign patents applied for” or “patent applied for in the U.S. and abroad” if you’re applying in multiple countries.

All of these terms mean that your patent application is in pending status and has not got the grant yet.

Related Article: Patent Monitoring: A Primary Guide

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Other Related Articles:

Patent Filing: Know How to Proceed

Importance of Patent Proofreading Services

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