What Does it Mean to be “Patent Pending”?


“Patent pending” means that you have filed a patent application which covers your invention. Filing a provisional patent application, a utility patent application, a PCT international application, or a design patent application will allow you to state that you are “patent pending.”

You don’t need to identify your patent application’s serial number, you can just state “patent pending.” (Patent numbers are displayed for issued patents to help the public identify what patent is covering the product.)

Theoretically anyone can file a patent application on anything, and so “patent pending” does not necessarily mean all that much. However, identifying your invention as “patent pending” can be useful in alerting a would-be infringer and helping them to decide that they might not want to copy your invention.

Related Topics:

What is a Provisional Patent Application?

What is a Priority Date, and What Does It Mean to “Maintain Pendency”?

Should I File a Provisional Patent Application?


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