Filing – Whether a
provisional patent or nonprovisional patent is filed, the invention may be
marked, “Patent Pending”. After the nonprovisional patent application is filed,
it will be assigned to an art group within the United States Patent and
Trademark Office and then to an examiner. However, an examiner will not
actually look at it for about 22 - 28 months.
Prosecution – Once the
examiner looks at the patent he will review whether or not it meets the
statutory requirements for a patent. Most likely he will find some issue with
it and make a rejection. Then the patent agent/attorney will either convince
the examiner that the rejection was in error or amend the patent to comply with
the examiner's rejection. This back and forth can last many months or more than
The average pendency (time from file
to issue) of a biotech patent is 34 months.