What does patent pending mean?

Article explaining what patent pending means by patent attorney Steve Aycock

Patent Pending is a phrase that is often seen on product packaging or mentioned in advertising or promotion of new products. Also, you may have heard people say don’t tell anyone about your invention until it is “patent pending.”

Simply put, patent pending means that there is an application for patent on file and pending at some stage of the review process that is directed to the product marked patent pending (at least according to the manufacturer or marketer).

The details of a patent pending assertion can be difficult to research and verify because there are several types of patent applications than can be used to claim patent pending, patent applications are not always available for public inspection, and, even if you can find the patent application, it can often be difficult to correlate the patent application language to the product features, especially if the patent pending features are internal to the product (e.g., electronics, software, etc.).

Types of patent applications

When someone asks “What does patent pending mean?“, I mention that there is one of several types of patent applications on file:

  • Provisional Patent Application (or PPA)
  • Non-provisional patent application
  • Design patent application
  • International Patent Application (or PCT application)
  • Foreign patent application

As you can see from the above list of patent application types, it could be quite difficult to research and verify the basis for a patent pending claim.

So, now you know what Patent Pending means…what next?

Well, if you have an invention that you would like to get patent pending status on, you will need to have a patent application prepared and on file for one of the types of patent applications mentioned above.

The lowest cost and quickest option is typically the provisional patent application (or PPA). We handle dozens of provisional patent applications a year and would be glad to help you get patent pending status for your invention. Drop us a line on our Contact Form and we’ll get in touch with you.

Or, if you are handy with a computer and would like to save some money and spend your time on the provisional patent application as a DIY project, we have a resource for you for that as well. Just visit Provisional Patent Kit, pick up the kit for a low cost and jump in!

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