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Patent rights during and after application

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2021 | Patent Law

If you have invented something, you can apply for a patent with the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USTPO) to protect your rights. Before completing the application, it is essential to ensure that your invention meets all the requirements for a patent. This means that your invention must be different from all other patented inventions and you must be able to demonstrate that the discovery is useful. 

If your invention meets these basic requirements, you can then register it to gain exclusive rights. The application for the patent should be made within one year of publicly announcing your discovery.

What are an inventor’s rights after submitting a patent application?

After you submit your invention to the USTPO, it will be marked as “patent pending”. During this time, your application is reviewed by an examiner from the patent office. You will also be required to pay a fee for your application to be processed.

You cannot file a lawsuit against an infringer at this stage, but the patent-pending status helps discourage others from copying or using your invention. After obtaining the patent, you can sue any party that tried to infringe on your invention when your application was pending.

The success of your application depends on numerous factors. It is essential to understand what to include in the application, as the USTPO may not grant you a patent if there are errors. Common errors include not observing the application’s rules or not providing sufficient technical details about your discovery.

The USTPO may take three to five years to approve or reject your application but you can accelerate the application process by requesting fast-track examinations of pending applications. Inventors who are more than 65 years old or have health issues may also have their applications processed more quickly.

What rights does an inventor gain after their patent is approved?

The owner of the patent gets complete control of their invention after their application has been approved. This means that they have the right to file a lawsuit against anyone who uses, makes or sells their creation without authority.

Typically, the rights of a patent are valid for 20 years from the date of approval. After this period, any party can use, make or sell the invention without any restrictions or without requiring authorization from the owner. However, even after expiry the inventor can still file patent infringement lawsuits for claims that occurred when the patent was still active.