What an accomplished feeling to learn that your novelty search revealed that your invention is patentable. However, will the USPTO agree? Hopefully, they will eventually grant you a patent, but anticipate the time it takes for this to happen and be prepared for the back and forth process of responding to Office Actions.
When you file a patent application at the USPTO, it’s assigned to a Patent Examiner about 3-4 years after filing the application. The Examiner will review the application for informalities and also conduct a prior art search to determine if the invention is patentable. A good prior art search conducted prior to filing the application can help your attorney to draft a strong patent application with patentable claims and it can also help you to anticipate any rejections. Once the application is rejected, the Applicant is given 3 months to respond to the Office Action. At this time, the Applicant can amend their claims and provide arguments to show why the invention is patentable. The response may not necessarily convince the Examiner the first time, but don’t give up! A skilled and qualified Patent Attorney can help you to interpret the Office Action and the Attorney can help you to create an action plan about how to overcome the rejection. If you hit a dead end with the Examiner, you can file an appeal and present your arguments to a panel of USPTO Judges.
Simply put, you can anticipate receiving an office action from the USPTO, but don’t be discouraged. Anytime worth having takes time!
How long did it take the USPTO to register your patent?