The Patent Application Process - How Long Does It Take

If you develop a new idea, create an original design, or come up with an invention, you do not want it copied, used, or taken by another person as much as possible, right? Nothing can be more frustrating than other people claiming ownership of your idea or gaining profit out of it without seeking your permission or approval. When you want to protect your invention legally, you must consider applying for a patent.

In this article, we'll share with you what the patent application process involves and how long it takes:

What is a patent?

In a nutshell, a patent is a legal right granted to you for a new invention, and it prevents another party from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing it for twenty years. In the US, you can submit your patent application to the US Patent and Trademark Office, where officers will review and approve an application. Once approved, you're the only person allowed to make, use, and sell your invention, whether it is a product, machinery, process, or idea. If other people misuse your property, they can be held legally liable unless they are given license first.

Types of patents

Here are the three main types of patents used in the US:

  • Utility patent: This type includes a machine, process, or article of manufacture. A perfect example is the little green drink stopper Starbucks gives out with its cups. It is, by far, the most sought-after type of patent among many businesses.
  • Design patents: This type covers any new, non-functional design for a product. For instance, the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle is a patented design. It is said to be the second most common type of patent.
  • Plant patents: This type includes new hybrid plant species that have been created, bred, or grafted by botanists. A few examples are the Smooth Angel Rose or drought-tolerant corn.

The patent filing process

Keep in mind that a patent application is a complex, time-consuming, and potentially costly process. It can take years for approval and issuance while costing $25,000 on average.

For the most part, a patent application can be produced within a few weeks to a couple of months. The better it is written, the more likely it is to be reviewed and approved by the patent office. In most cases, it can take up to five years to have an application approved and be issued a patent, yet you do have the option to have the process expedited. This applies to utility and plant applications, where you must pay an extra fee for the process to conclude within 12 months.

As such, it is best to obtain a lawyer who can help you every step of the way. At Patent Lawyers, we have highly experienced patent attorneys in Texas with a positive track record of success to help get your new invention patented and protected!


At this point, you now know what a patent application process involves and how long it can take before it is approved. To that end, be sure to consider all the valuable information discussed above, particularly the three basic types and the timeframe of the application process. Likewise, it is best to work with a competent patent attorney, as they know what to write and how to disclose it to get the utmost protection possible for your invention!

Do you want to know how to get a patent legally? Let our professional patent lawyers in Houston, Texas help you! We're specialized in legal services for patent, trademark, and copyright laws with over 60 years of legal experience. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!