US Patent Office
KWD: 13/480 = 2.70%
US Patent Office
In the US Patent office, after the patent application has been filed with the US Patent office, a patent examiner carefully reviews the application in order to determine the invention’s patentability. The examination process usually takes 12 to 18 months. This is so because it will depend on the workload and staffing of the US Patent office. The US Patent Office examiners only verify that the description and claims per description by their inventors are new, unique, and not obvious to the US Patent Office. The US Patent Office examiners do not verify that an invention works. They try only to correctly verify that the invention is patentable and has not been patented in the US before.
To be patentable, an invention essentially must meet the following requirements set by US Patent office which are: (1) useful, (2) novel, and (3) non-obvious. The novelty requirement of US Patent office is often consider the entry test for patentability. It generally is satisfied unless: (i) prior to the inventor’s invention date, the invention was actually reduced to practice or an application disclosing it was filed by one still diligently pursuing it, or it was patented by another or published anywhere in the world by others or publicly known or used in the US by others, or (ii) prior to one year before the filing date of the inventor’s patent application, patented or published anywhere in the world or in public use or on sale in the US as a result of the acts of the inventor or others. This effective one-year grace period for such acts of the inventor is unique to the US patent laws; in foreign countries, such acts of the inventor would bar the inventor from obtaining a patent in their native land.
When the US Patent office examiner has made his/her initial patentability determination, the US Patent office responds by sending the applicant what is known as an “Office Action” containing its determination and the reasons for it. If the Office Action contains a rejection of the claims and there exist arguable grounds for contesting the examiner’s determination, one typically files a “Response,” usually in the form of an Amendment, to overcome the rejection. There are usually only two Office Actions and Responses before a final determination is made by the US Patent Office examiner as to the invention’s patentability. If the result is detrimental to the applicant’s interests, it can be appealed. Typical legal fees that apply for responding to Office Actions are $500.00 to $3,000.00, depending upon the complexity of the arguments.
Patent cost can be very high although fees for the patent application, issue and maintenance fees and other related fees are reduced by 50 percent when the applicant is a small business or individual inventor. U S Patent Office charges a minimum of about $4,000 over the life of the patent.