How Long Does A Patent Last?

What type of patent is it?

What type of patent you file matters, Is it a design patent? If so, your patent will likely have a lifetime of either 14 or 15 years from the date that the patent is granted. This number depends on when it was filed. If your patent is like most, it is probably a utility patent. These patents are common for things like machines or processes, rather than for a design. Utility patents have a lifetime of 20 years from the earliest filing date. However, if you have more than one filing date, this lifetime can get complicated.

What is the filing date?

Knowing the filing date for a patent can be confusing in certain instances due to the fact that it is possible for a patent application to have more than one filing date. Filing dates are recorded on public databases located in patent offices. In order to know how long the lifetime of your patent is, you need to know the correct filing date.

Provisional patent application

Your patent may have two filing dates if you file a provisional patent application before you file for a patent. If you file for a provisional patent application, your patent may expire up to a full year earlier in the case of a utility patent. A provisional patent application is an application that allows investors and stakeholders to compile research, run experiments, or find additional investors for up to a year without the threat of someone filing for a similar patent during that time. Keep in mind, however, that filing for a provisional patent application means that your patent will expire according to the lifetime of the patent when filed on the earliest filing date, including the filing date for a provisional patent application.

What does “patent pending” mean?

You may have heard the term “patent pending” before. This term essentially means that an application for the patent has been filed, but the patent has not yet been issued. During the time that a patent is pending, the scope of protection remains undetermined. The notice of a patent pending lets the public know that the invention is intended to be protected, so people with similar inventions should remain cautious.

When you file for a patent matters

The lifetime of a patent can depend on when the patent was filed or issued. If  utility patent has been filed on or before June 8, 1995, the patent expires 17 years after the issuance of the patent. However, if a design patent application had been filed previous to May 13, 2015, the patent lifetime is 15 years from the date that claim was granted. Before that date, the term was 14 years from the date that claim was granted.

There are many variables that go into calculating how long a patent lasts. That is why when you are looking for an Arizona patent attorney , you should know what type of patent you need, and when you plan to, or when you did file for the patent, so your patent attorney in Phoenix can best protect your idea.