What does it mean when the committee that oversees the United States Patent Office issues a decision with any patent pending or approves a provisional patent for a product? Before any inventor celebrates, they should know the outcome of these two options. Without proper legal knowledge, it’s easy to understand why even veteran inventors may want to have trademark attorneys explain the patent application process; including each step along the way to getting a design approved and holding a patent.
A patent pending means that a patent has not yet been decided on, however the three-panel of judges are investigating whether to approve a product design or patent for a certain process. Sometimes, this means the patent has been granted without officially being approved. However, it may also mean that the board is simply considering the motion to grant a patent. This is why many inventors may be confused when their trademark attorneys bring back the panel’s decision.
What is a provisional patent
What does it mean when an inventor receives word that their design is being given a provisional patent? A provisional patent means that a design has been approved to receive a patent, but there are some conditions or provisions. A provisional patent is the same as a patent pending. It means that a patent is only granted under certain restrictions and may have limitations. It can also mean that a patent cannot be issued (without the provisional patent status) until certain ramifications are corrected or improved in the product design.
Those who receive a patent pending status on their invention may have to wait up to a year to see if their application to receive a patent is approved. This process can be made more clear and painless if one hires a trademark attorney for the process.
Having trademark attorneys assisting with any patent pending can mean that the patent process happens relatively soon and is approved within a year to two, rather than several years and numerous appeals. Trademark attorneys may be pricey, but are surely worth the price to any successful inventor.
Coming up with a name for an invention that has not already been taken can take time too. However, having an attorney can help an inventor find a name, which they can copyright for their design without fear that someone will steal their product name and idea.