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The patent process steps

include prior art search,

application filing and its

prosecution, followed

by the allowance process,

and finally, the actual

patent issuance.

FAQ Basic Patent Process Steps
...application preparation & prosecution
Perform a preliminary patent search.

The main reason behind a preliminary patentability search of your invention is find out the likelihood that the United States Patent and Trademark Office will patent your invention. If the search determines that obtaining a patent is likely, you can proceed with spending additional capital on the final improvements, application process and even marketing of your invention.

Prepare and file patent application.

First and foremost, you must decide where to file your patent application. If you are considering an international protection for your invention, the application process and any applicable deadlines will vary significantly in different countries, and additional research may be required. However, if you choose to file with the United States and Trademark Office, you must prepare the necessary drawings (typically 2-3 for basic mechanical inventions), complete the actual application, and pay the required filing fees.

Patent Office processes your application.

The processing of your application, or what is known as the prosecution phase, could take two or even three years to complete. In addition, this process always requires an additional investment of time and money to deal with the inevitable initial rejections, negotiations, or extensions. All applicants should expect moments of frustration when dealing with rejections, and some discomforting give and take, when communicating with  the Patent Office examiner. Be that as it may, you must be persistent and understand that the main goal is to prepare your application for the allowance process.

Application goes through the allowance process.

If the prosecution phase is successfully completed, the Patent Office will issue a Notice of Allowance. It will inform you of any additional requirements to prepare your application for patent issuance. Also, the  notice will specify that you must pay the issuance fee (publication fee if applicable) within three months of the date on which the notice was sent to avoid abandonment of your application. It is important to fulfill all the requirements and to pay all the fees on time because this three-month period is not extendable.

Patent is issued.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office specifically states that when the issue fee is paid and all other requirements have been met (all the drawing or corrections have been submitted) within the time allowed by law, the application is forwarded to the printer for Final Data Capture and final issue preparation. At this point, the application can only be retrieved if it is withdrawn from issue. About ten days before the application issues as a patent, the application is assigned a patent number plus the issue date, and an Issue Notification is mailed to inform the applicant of the patent number and the issue date.

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