How Long Until My Patent Application Is Examined?
The US Patent Office currently has a large backlog of patent applications awaiting examination. The current typical waiting period is about two years. This number is only an approximation and is NOT a guarantee. Examinations do occur both more quickly and more slowly than the average.
Once your application reaches the top of the stack, the patent examiner will conduct a search, examine the application and send out an office action. Almost all of these office actions are rejections the first time. Because of the exceptional quality of our preliminary searches and patent drafting, we receive many more grants without rejections than the industry average.
After the first action, the examiner may exchange documents several more times, frequently including changes to the claims, until the inventor, patent agent or attorney and examiner are all satisfied with the patent specification and claims.
Once the examiner is satisfied with the application, the examiner allows the application to issue, and the issue fee must be paid. A few months after that, the patent is granted. If the examiner and applicant do not reach agreement, the applicant can file an appeal to the Board of Appeals. Fortunately, appeals are not often required.