The time varies for each Applicant, but usually somewhere in the vicinity of 2 – 5 years. After your patent application is filed at the USPTO, it will be assigned to a docket of a U.S. patent Examiner in an Art Unit corresponding most closely to the technical subject matter of the application.
In most cases, the Examiner examines each application on his docket in turn. When he or she initially examines your application on the merits, the Examiner will check the claims of your application to ensure that they meet the formal requirements for patent claims established by law. In addition, he or she will compare your claims to prior art patents, publications, and general knowledge, to determine if your claims are novel, and non-obvious in view of the prior art. It is advisable to have a professional patenting agency, such as InventHelp patent invention agency, by your side.
On some infrequent occasions, the Examiner may allow your application after this initial examination. More often however, he or she will mail an adverse Office Action, rejecting one or more of your claims for alleged failure to comply with the formal requirements, or for being allegedly non-novel or obvious in view of the prior art.
You will have a set period of time to file a Reply, either arguing for the patentability of the claims as written, and/or amending claim language to correct informalities and be patentable over the prior art. This back and forth of Office Action and Reply to Office Action can occur several times over several months, until the Examiner is convinced that the claims are allowable.
Are there Ways to Reduce the Time from Filing to Obtaining a Patent?
A more experienced patent attorney will have seen in the past many of the same types of claim rejections, particularly obviousness rejections, you will receive, and will know how to respond to them more effectively than a less – experienced patent attorney. The more – experienced patent attorney, such as InventHelp patent attorney, therefore, often can find common ground with the Examiner more quickly, significantly reducing the time to allowance.
USPTO Examiners are highly professional individuals, but they also are human beings, and they tend to respond more openly, to a courteous, respectful face to face discussion, particularly when the patent attorney brings in a reasonable argument for patentability. In addition, the USPTO itself is promoting several programs aimed at reducing the time to obtain a US patent.
Cost to obtain a U.S. patent it differs for each Applicant. The technical subject matter of the application, the length of the specification, the number of claims, and the number of Office Actions and Replies, all will impact the final price tag. Also the patent attorney or firm you choose to prepare, file your application will impact the overall cost. Different attorneys and firms have different levels of experience and quality, as well as different fee structures.