1. UPR provides Documents to the Inventor
- United Patent Research (UPR) prepares release documents to be sent to inventor and Patent Attorney referral acceptance.
- Inventor returns approved referral letters to UPR.
- UPR provides referred patent attorney with all pertinent inventor/invention documentation to provide the legal prosecution of the patent.
2. Documents received by Patent Attorney
- Patent attorney prepares paper work for patent application process.
- Inventor decides which US patent to pursue, utility or design, based on the legal opinion of patentability enclosed in report.
- Inventor signs document for patent selection and sends it to UPR. UPR provides patent attorney with the patent option selected by the inventor.
- Patent attorney receives documents and begins the patent application process. Attorney will begin the EU Community Design Patent filing and/or the China Patent as well, if contracted.
TIME: This time frame is approximately 3 to 4 weeks from the time UPR receives inventor’s payment in full.
Note that UPR will coordinate the work and information flow between the inventor and the patent attorney.
3. Patent Office Systems and Procedures
- Patent Office receives patent application from the patent attorney. Pre-examination by the USPTO, which includes:
- Serial number assigned
- Fees recorded
- Tentative classification, and screened for security sensitive documents
- Electronic scanning for pre-grant publication
- Licensing and review
- Administrative examination, data entry, filing receipt mailed
TIME: Approximately 3 to 4 months at the Patent Office.
4. Patent Examination at the USPTO
- Application assigned to examining unit, then to examiner. Classified for pre-grant publication. Examiner's first action.
- Applicant response.
- Second and subsequent examiner actions to final allowance or final rejection.
- Applicant responses.
- USPTO examiner allowance or rejection.
TIME: This entire process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years based on USPTO’s time frames and activities (however, certain parts in the PTO have been running behind by as much as five to ten years for business method and Internet related patent applications).
Post-Examination at USPTO
- Patent publication division: receipt and review of allowed case papers.
- Initial preparation and electronic data capture for printing and issue.
- File maintenance facility: match post-allowance papers and issue.
- Patent printed, issued and mailed to applicant.
TIME: This process at the USPTO should take between 2 to 3 months for completion.
Applicant receives issued Patent from the USPTO. The Process is complete.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE TIME REFERENCES ARE ONLY APPROXIMATE. YOUR ACTUAL PROCESSING MAY BE MORE OR LESS THAN THE TIME INDICATED.
IN ADDITION, THE ABOVE DOES NOT INCLUDE THE PROCESSING OF THE INTERNATIONAL PATENT APPLICATION.