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One of the most common questions I get is: how long does it take to get a patent?

My question in response could be: How long do you want it to take? The longest I’ve seen a patent application take to issue as a US patent was about 10 years. The least amount of time I’ve seen for a patent application to issue as a US patent was 2 months flat.

The time it takes to get a US patent depends on the filing strategy used, how quickly you can reach agreement with the examiner, and how much money you have to spend on getting a patent.

First and foremost, there is no guarantee that your patent application will issue as a US patent at all. For example, I’ve seen many patent applications go abandoned because the inventors ran out of money during the patent application process. This may be due to changing economic conditions such as the COVID-19 pandemic or an inability to reach agreement with the examiner until the inventor’s funds are depleted.

But most of the time, how long it takes for a patent to issue depends on your business needs. For example, many pharmaceutical companies and medical device businesses do not want their US patents issued quickly because they cannot sell their products right away. They need to wait for FDA approval before they can sell drugs or medical devices. Therefore, they slow walk their patent applications until they receive FDA approval.

Also, many startups and entrepreneurs do not want a patent application to issue quickly as a US Patent because they lack the resources to start selling their products and services quickly. They slow walk their patent applications to give them time to develop their product, get market validation, and raise much-needed funding from investors. Slow walking their patent applications allows them to put off costs and filing decisions for as long as possible.

In contrast, many post-revenue businesses that are ready to start selling right now can get their patent applications issued in as little as a few months by filing prioritized patent applications and reaching an agreement quickly with the examiner.

This is why it’s important to explain your business goals to your patent attorney. If we know what your timeline for selling is, then we can help you decide on the right patent filing strategy for your business.

Not sure which strategy is for you?

Call Childs Patent Law at 832-621-0353 and let’s talk about your business needs.

Filing Options Podcast Series
1. How Quickly Can You File A Patent Application?
2. How Quickly Can You Get A Patent?
3. How Long Does It Take To Get A Patent?
4. Is a Provisional Patent Application Right for You?
5. Is a PCT Application Right for You?
6. Can You Protect Your Invention Outside of the US?
7. What Does “Patent Pending” Mean?
8. What Patent Application Filing Strategy Should A Startup or an Entrepreneur Use?
9. What Patent Application Filing Strategy Should You Use If You’re Ready To Sell?
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