• What are the Benefits of Patent Pending Status?
  • April 24, 2017 | Author: James H. Gulseth
  • Law Firm: JGPC Business & Corporate Law - Pleasanton Office
  • It is well-known that patents can provide useful protection to a business’s ideas and inventions. Even if you or another business owner are not completely clear on what specific protections and remedies are available to you as the holder of a patent, you generally know that a patent protects you from competitors or others who attempt to steal your ideas or inventions for their own gain. Less known, however, is whether “patent pending” status holds any benefit to a business owner in possession of a new idea or invention. As your California patent attorney can help explain, “patent pending” status does provide certain protections to inventors and developers, making pursuit of such status worthwhile.

    Specific Benefits of Patent Pending Status

    Patent pending status is conferred upon the successful filing of a provisional patent application form. There are a number of specific benefits that accompany seeking and obtaining “patent pending” status, including:

    • Filing date: Applying for patent pending status is a simpler and cheaper process than the actual patent process. While patent pending status does not provide you with the protections of a patent, it does create a “filing date” that can predate the actual date of your patent by 12 months (or more, in certain cases). This can be extremely useful in establishing that your idea or invention predated a competitor’s similar idea or invention. For example, suppose that you obtained patent pending status on May 1, 2017 but did not complete the patent process until May 1, 2018. During that time, a rival business begins marketing the same idea you came up with. Your filing date can be helpful in establishing that your idea predates your competitor’s idea.
    • Easier process: As mentioned above, the costs (in both time and money) of obtaining patent pending status are less than those associated with obtaining a patent. While the protections are not as plentiful, some protection for your new idea or invention is better than no protection at all. Given the relative ease with which patent pending status can be obtained, it is usually a good idea to pursue this path.
    • Deterrence: Finally, achieving patent pending status may in and of itself serve to deter would-be idea thieves from stealing your idea or invention. “Patent pending” are words that communicate you are serious about protecting your ideas and will likely assert your legal rights if someone infringes upon your idea or invention.

    This article was originally published on JGPC.com.