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How long does it take to get a patent?

The time it takes to get a patent can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the type of patent (utility, design, or plant), the complexity of the invention, the backlog of applications at the patent office, and the time is takes to address any objections or challenges that are raised during the examination process.

On average, the process of obtaining a utility patent in the United States typically takes between 2 to 4 years from the initial filing date to patent issuance. However, this timeline can vary widely based on individual circumstances. Design patents tend to have a shorter processing time, often ranging from 2 to 3 years, due to their relatively simpler nature compared to utility patents.

Patent examiners also regularly issue office actions, which applicants submit responses to address any concerns and differentiate themselves from cited references.

It's important to note that while the patent application is pending, the inventor can still claim "patent pending" status, which provides some level of protection against unauthorized use or copying of the invention.
For additional government filing fees and other requirements, an inventor can also accelerate the examination process, shortening the time it might take to get to patented status.

Author: Fernando Dutra.

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