FAQ – Patent Application Process

Q: My patent application was rejected. Did my attorney make a mistake?

A: It is possible, but not likely. The US Patent Office tends to punish Examiners who allow patent applications to register and does not punish for rejecting applications. Therefore, almost all patent applications are rejected. The Examiner’s typical position is that you have not met the standards and rules. This is usually stated officially in an Office Action as a rejection and begins the Patent Application Negotiation Process.

Q: What is the Patent Application Negotiation Process?

A: Even if you have a patent application pending, the government will not give you the full rights of a patent registration unless you meet all the requirements set out in the laws and regulations governing patent registrations. There are thousands of pages of rules and laws that control who gets patents and who does not get patents. A Patent Examiner will review your application to see if it meets those standards. Since their typical position is that you have not, you must negotiate with the Examiner and convince the Examiner that you have met those standards.

Q: How does it work?

A: Typically, the US Patent Office will issue an Office Action stating the position of the Office as written by the Examiner. The Applicant has three months to respond with arguments, evidence, and/or amendments to the application. Once the Office Action Response has been filed, the Examiner is required to address the Response and will either respond with another Office Action, a Final Office Action or a Notice of Allowance. This process can repeat several times until a Notice of Allowance is issued. When a Final Office Action issues, then the Applicant has several options for moving forward, all including extra government fees. The Applicant can pay to continue the Negotiation Process or can pay to take the issues up on Appeal.

Q: How long does it usually take and how much does it usually cost?

A: Every application is unique and will take its own path. From our research, this process typically takes between about 6 – 15 months. Looking at statistics for typical fees charged by attorneys, the cost ranges between about $2,500 – $12,000 over this time period. Our fees for this process tend to be lower than average by about 25-35%, so you can expect lower attorney fees, though government fees remain the same across the board.

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