Getting a patent can take months or even years (2 years is somewhat typical). This is why you will often see products that advertise a “patent pending” status. A company has started selling a product, knowing that a patent application has been filed, but they want to start selling it before the patent gets fully approved.
This approach can be effective for certain purposes, since applying for a patent first provides a certain amount of protection – mainly against someone who later files an application for the same idea. But there are also scenarios in which people may successfully seek to receive patents sooner, which can be beneficial for licensing purposes and other endeavors where a patent pending status would be insufficient.
Based on age
First of all, patent examination can be accelerated based on the age of the inventor. For instance, if you are 65 years old or older, your patent could effectively be pushed toward the front of the line. The idea here is simply that older business owners or inventors do not have statistically as much time to wait around for patent approval and may need to make use of it as soon as possible.
Based on health concerns
Similarly, if someone can show that they have serious health concerns, then they may able to speed up patent examination. For example, an inventor who has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer may submit a patent application and benefit from an expedited process as a result of their circumstances.
Pay an extra fee
Patent examination can also be sped up in the US by patent applicant requesting accelerated examination. This is done by paying an extra fee to the US Patent Office, at the time of filing of the patent application.
Exploring your options.
These are just two examples of ways that you can potentially get a patent faster than you may have expected, as they are not representative of all of the opportunities that people use to achieve this aim. Be sure you take the time to look into all of the legal options at your disposal as you seek the proper protections for your inventions.