How much time required to get patent in US ?
When you (inventor) ask about time required to get patent in US for my invention, even if did not specifically mentioned, there are 2 intentions behind asking that question and ultimately 2 answers:
1. Time required to file patent in US for your invention
2. Time required to get Granted patent in US for your invention
A quick answer to 1st point is: It takes about 2-3 weeks for a patent attorney to write patent application and file it. Steps include
drafting patent application and
filing patent application at USPTO
And the quick answer to 2nd point is: It takes about 2-3 years to get granted patent in US for your invention. Steps include
Publication of application
Grant of patent
you can read section on procedure, timeline and costs for getting patent in US
Now, When a typical inventor gets to know that it takes more than 2 years to get granted patent for his invention, His immediate questions in minds would be;
Do I have to wait for 2-3 years to do anything about my invention? Till the patent is granted?
How it will make sense in my current business to wait for such long time period
Should I really go for patenting?
The most important fact to consider here is; You get the status of “patent pending” in US as soon as you file the patent application. (that is in 1-2 weeks time as per above mentioned point 1)
You (inventor) do not need to wait till grant of patent for most of the activities (90% of them) like:
1. Talking to investors and financers to get funding
2. Researching the financial worth of the invention
3. Finding right partners for building business around invention
4. Advertising and commercializing
5. Practicing the invention for trail purpose with some clients
6. Searching for right partner to license the patent after granted
7. Or in some cases entirely selling the invention as patent pending
However, The only thing you cannot do till you have granted patent on your name for the invention is to “stop others from practicing invention for commercial purpose”!!!
In other words, you cannot stop others from using, selling, offering for sale or importing your invention until and unless you have granted patent on your name for the invention. For only stopping others you need to wait till grant of patent!!! (2-3 years)
almost all activities (even selling of the patent in process) can be done after you have filled the patent application that is your invention is having “patent pending” status.
Hence even if it takes more than 2 years to get granted patent for your invention, It doesn't stop you from doing almost all activities generally related to patent as soon as you file the patent !!!
You may also like to consider reading a guideline on deciding is it really worth to go ahead for patent for your invention ?
to know How you can save costs initially by going for provisional patent application in US, you can read section on Is filing provisional patent application is a way to save costs with patents initially ?