When will my application be examined?
- It could take 18 to 48 months before the application is examined substantively by an examiner depending on the type of technology involved. Biotech and computer-related inventions typically take longer to process.
What if I don’t want to wait that long?
- If an inventor is 65 years of age or older, a Petition to Make Special can be submitted to accelerate examination potentially shortening the examination period to less than one (1) year from the filing date.
- There are other ways to accelerate the examination process; however, the approaches, costs, advantages, and disadvantages should be discussed with a patent attorney.
What happens during the examination?
- After the application is filed, an examiner will review the application to determine whether the format and substance conforms with USPTO standards. These are very strict rules, which is why using a patent practitioner is recommended. Failure to conform to USPTO standards will result in an objection or rejection of the claims.
- The examiner then conducts his or her own search for prior art references.
- Based on the prior art search, the examiner may reject some or all of the claims based on a lack of novelty or obviousness, as well as on other grounds.
- Once the examiner has completed his or her examination, he or she will issue an Office Action addressing the patentability of the claimed invention.