How long will it take to get a patent? Discover how long it takes for each sort of patent.

Safeguarding an inventor’s intellectual property may be a difficult procedure. Although some may favor the protection and obscurity provided by treating an innovation as a trade secret, others prefer the exclusivity provided by a patent. A patent’s monopoly lasts 20 years for utility patents (as long as the necessary maintenance fees are paid on time) and 14 years for design patents. Unfortunately, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) takes time to process a patent application and award the patent. You’ll need to be really patient.

Initial Office Action

Patents are evaluated in order. The USPTO maintains a backlog of several thousand applications at any one moment, with only a few thousand examiners available to evaluate them. As a consequence, it takes around two years to process a patent. The USPTO’s first reaction is known as a “Office Action.” You may confidently predict that it will take at least three years from the date of your original application to acquire your patent since you will have to react to the action and the USPTO will then have to respond to your answer.

In Exceptional Circumstances, How Long Does It Take to Obtain a Patent?

If you file a patent application in a high-traffic industry, such as computer software, the process may take much longer. In such circumstances, obtaining a patent might take twice as long, even if no extra documentation are needed to support your application. Your patent may be pending for five to six years if you are required to submit a Request for Continued Examination or a Continuation Application. If you need to appeal a judgment to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, expect to add another year to your timeline and pay extra costs – and there is no assurance that you will win your appeal and acquire your patent.

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