How long is the patent process?

If you are reasonably responsive to our follow-up questions, we can usually complete a patent application draft for you within a month of our initial meeting to go over your description of the invention. After filing the patent application, you may be asked to wait for a year (or even more) before receiving an office action. In some jurisdictions, examination will not start until you actually request (and pay the fee) examination. In Canada, you can wait up to five years from the filing date to request examination. Typically, you have between 3 to 6 months to respond to the office action. You can expect to receive between 1-3 office actions before a final decision on the validity of the patent application is reached. Once your patent application has been approved, you will be asked to pay an issue fee, after which the official patent will be granted. At that time, you have an opportunity to file additional applications for the same invention, but different claims. Once your patent issues, you will have a monopoly to make, use and sell the invention for up to 20 years from the date you filed the patent application. In the US, you may get additional term to take into account delays by the patent office in processing the application, but in most other jurisdictions, the 20 year term is fixed no matter how long you delay requesting examination or how long the application process takes.

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