When may you declare your idea is “patent pending”? Including the mention in the description alerts people to the fact that you have filed a patent application with the USPTO.
You’ve probably heard this term before, but what does it truly mean? Including a “patent pending” note in an invention’s description notifies people that you have filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Another phrase that might be used is “patent applied for.” Both fulfill the same function. You may wish to know, however, if alerting people that you have submitted an application has any advantages, and, if so, when the term may be lawfully used.
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Why Should You Utilize the Notice?
The use of the notice does notify others that the patenting process has started, which may render them accountable if they violate your intellectual property. But, keep in mind that the application does not provide legal protection in and of itself. Patent infringements may only be challenged if the patent is actually granted. As a result, until the procedure is done, the message is only informative. It is then accepted as due notice that the innovation is protected, making anybody who violates it responsible. (In order to profit from patent protection, other parties must be made aware that your idea has been patented.)
When You Can Really Put the Notification to Use
The fact that the “patent applied for” notification provides no protection until the patent is granted does not imply it may be utilized without restriction. By US law, patent application notifications may only be used after you have submitted an application and it has been approved for examination. It is strictly forbidden to use the notifications if no patent application has been submitted. The punishment for utilizing the notifications in this manner is false marking, which is punished by a fine of up to $500 per violation. Each infraction is tracked individually, and the penalties may rapidly add up when dealing with high-volume items.