If you’ve invented something new, you want to make sure that your idea is protected. Most of the time, your best option is to apply for a patent. We have to be honest though. Securing patent protection can take a long time. You’ll probably want the assistance of an Orange County, California patent lawyer.

How Long Does It Take to Apply for a Patent?

The application process itself can be quite lengthy. You need to include a lot of information and documents when you apply to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and any mistakes can just make the process take longer. It’s a good idea to have a lawyer who can guide you through the process and make sure that nothing is left out or done incorrectly.

How Long Before I Hear Back About My Application?

In most cases, it can take one to two years for a patent application to be approved by the USPTO. This process can stretch on even longer if the office is getting lots of applications though. It can also take longer if there are issues with your application, which we’ll talk about more in a second.

What Can Make an Application Take Longer?

Sometimes the USPTO will respond to you as they evaluate a patent application. They are trying to determine whether the invention you want to protect is actually new or useful and if it meets other standards. They can sometimes contact you and let you know if they have any objections to your application, and then you can respond in writing to file your reply. There is often a limited amount of time to do this. Obviously, if the USPTO keeps asking you to prove that your invention is novel, that’s going to make the process take longer.

What Do I Do If I Want International Patent Protection?

There are ways to file for international patent protection as well. Different countries have different agreements with the United States. Depending on which regions you want to do business in, you may be able to secure protection in multiple countries at once. Tell one of our lawyers more about your plans and we’ll see if we can help.

Can a Lawyer Help Me Apply for a Patent?

We could be biased here, but we really do think that having a lawyer on your side can help with the patent application process. You need to be sure that your application is complete and that all required documents are accounted for. The USPTO will also communicate directly with your attorney when there are issues. If something requires a reply, your attorney can receive the notice, tell you about it, and make sure that it does not get lost in the shuffle before the window to respond closes.

Talk to an Attorney Today

If you are considering filing a patent application, our law firm can help. Contact Burns Patent Law and schedule a consultation with our team. Securing a patent can take a while and it can be hard work, but it will be well worth it when you have your invention protected.