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Timeline for obtaining a patent

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2021 | Blog, Patent Law

If you are considering applying for a patent, you are probably wondering how long the process takes. Each month that goes by can affect your bottom line and your growth potential.

The truth is that the patent process is not a quick one, and the average time for approval is around two years. This can be longer if there are issues with your application or if you need to submit more information. If you want to speed the process along, there may be a couple of options you can check out.

General timeline

Before filling out a patent application, it is smart to conduct a patent search. This saves you time in the event someone else has already patented the product. If the search does not present anything, the next step is to fill out the application.

Once you file the application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a USPTO examiner analyses the application to determine whether the claims meet the patent protection requirements. One of the reasons it takes a long time for patent approval is because it is not uncommon for examiners to reject some of the claims, which increases the number of steps an applicant must take.

Accelerated application options

According to the USPTO, there are limited circumstances that may allow for accelerated examination of a patent application. The most commonly used procedure is a petition to make special. The office may expedite an individual’s application if this person requests an acceleration and is 65 years of age or older or if the person has health issues. There may also be a fast-track examination through the Patent Prosecution Highway.

Certain petitions to make special are for select areas, such as recombinant DNA, HIV Aids and cancer, environmental quality and countering terrorism, and the applicants must comply with certain requirements outlined by the accelerated examination program.