Below is a typical timeline for inventions.  While your particular invention timeline may differ, you should find the information below helpful in guiding you through the invention process.  The inventions timeline typically takes longer than one year and can take over three years to see any successful completion thereof.  Different inventions also have different invention timelines.  Hence, if your invention is an agricultural invention, communication invention, electrical invention, mechanical invention, medical invention or a household invention, the invention timeline can be affected.

PHASE 1: Invention Development (0 Months – 12 Months)

The first phase of the invention process involves developing the invention itself and determining the marketability of the invention.  For simple inventions, this phase may take only a few hours while for more complex inventions it may take a few months or years.  The invention development phase is a small portion of the invention timeline.

PHASE 2: Patent Search (1 Month)

The second phase of the invention process involves performing a patent search.  It is recommended to have a patent professional perform the patent search and provide you with a patentability opinion.  The patent search comprises a relatively small portion of the inventions timeline.  You can learn more about our U.S. Patent Search Services.

PHASE 3: Patent Application Preparation and Filing (1 Month – 3 Months)

The third phase involves the preparation and filing of a patent application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”).  We can usually prepare and file your patent application within one to three months.  You can learn more about our U.S. Patent Application Services.

PHASE 4:  Patent Prosecution (1 Year – 3 Years)

The fourth phase involves the prosecution of your patent application at the USPTO.  During this patent prosecution phase, the USPTO will typically reject your patent application the first time and then we file an Amendment/Response which includes legal and factual arguments in support of the patentability of your invention.  Assuming that we are successful in convincing the USPTO that your patent application is allowable, you will then receive a Notice of Allowability indicating that your patent application will then issue into a patent after the USPTO Issue Fee is paid to the USPTO.

PHASE 5:  Licensing or Selling Your Patent Rights (1 Month – 3 Years)

The fifth and final phase of the invention process can be the most difficult and time consuming for you.  It should also be noted that this phase should be performed simultaneously with Phase 4 (Patent Prosecution) to avoid any unnecessary delay in licensing or selling your patent rights.  In this phase, you will contact manufacturers who may be interested in purchasing or licensing your patent rights.  While this phase can be very short if you have immediate success, a typical invention takes more than one year to license and therefore takes a significant portion of the inventions timeline.