Example: The Process for Acquiring a U.S. Patent
Submit application to USPTO
USPTO issues serial number and filing date; Filing Receipt issued
Revelvant prior art is submitted to USPTO**
Assigned Examiner reviews application for patentability criteria
First Office Action to be issued within 14 months indicating patentability conclusion
Respond to Office Action
allowance within 4 months of receiving response.
USPTO to provide second office action within 4 months of receiving response
Time from filing to issue is approximately 3 years in the U.S.
** Any publications that the inventor is aware of must be submitted to the USPTO, typically prior to examination, and throughout the examination process.
After the initial application is filed, a future application may be filed in any desired country within 12 months of the initial filing date. This future application typically claims priority to the initially filed application (The priority date is therefore the date of initial filing of a patent application). As stated above, filing a patent in individual countries tends to become very expensive, and this option is therefore less feasible if protection is sought in many countries. At this stage a European patent may be applied for, and then registered and maintained in the countries you seek protection in. If there is some uncertainty as to whether an application is to be filed within several countries, an application can be filed through the PCT thereby delaying the filing decision, and associated costs for up to 30 months from the earliest filing date. The PCT application must be filed in one or more desired countries by the end of the 30 month period. During the PCT proceedings a search is carried out that identifies any relevant prior art, and a preliminary examination of the application may also be