“Everything that can be invented has been invented” Charles H Duell, Commissioner US patent office, 1899
A decision has to be made by the Patent and Trademark Office as to whether an invention is protected by law. It is then either issued or abandoned.
Patent pending means from the moment of filing up until, when that decision is made. It is a warning to others not to copy the invention and if they do, they may be liable for damages.
Once the pat-pend has been filed for, the inventor may then market his product as if he had a full license, receiving all the benefits and safety. Of course if subsequently the application fails or is rejected, the inventor loses this security.
Patent pending provides you with safeguard, the same as a full patent from the moment it is filed. A full patent can cost 4000 USD and patent pending can cost less than 100 USD.
A full patent can last up to 20 years and from filing to acceptance, patent pending may take up to two years. If rejected, the inventor can resolve the problem that led to the rejection and resubmit. If that is rejected he or she may appeal.
The procedure, requirements and extent of exclusive rights for inventions, varies according to national and international agreements. If patent pending is accepted, it becomes a full patent and is given its license number.
Generally speaking, Patent relates to inventions, Trademark relates to words, names, symbols and images and Copywrite relates to literature, art and music. A trade secret avoids the need for protection but only as long as it is kept a secret!
Intellectual property is someone’s idea, like a helium.com article, and the law can protect these creative ideas. A patent application must be a new invention, which is useful or industrially applicable.
Intellectual property comes from the creative mind and is made real. It is the intangible made tangible. The inventor may permit others to use his invention for a fee.
A Patent gives an inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, importing and selling his invention. Once the patent expires, it cannot be renewed but sometimes a patent can be extended.
Other types of patent include utility patents, design patents, plant patents and biological patents to name but a few, some of which are not really inventions but the principals are the same.
The Patent and Trademark Office always offers this “pending” feature, which means the patent is waiting for approval to be granted legally and this of course needs research and takes time!