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Process for Obtaining a Utility Patent

Flow Chart Patent Process Overview Step 1, Applicant Has your invention already been patented? Search the Patent Full-Text and Full-Page Image Databases Yes End No Step 2, Applicant What type of Application are you filing? Design Patent ornamental characteristics Plant Patent new variety of asexually produced plant Utility Patent (most common) useful process, machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter Step 3, Applicant Determine Filing Strategy File Globally? Yes, File Globally Need international protection? File in U.S.? No, Do Not File in U.S., End of Process Yes, File in U.S., go to step 4 Step 4, Applicant Which type of Utility Patent Application to file? Provisional or Nonprovisional Step 5, Applicant Consider expedited examination Prioritized Examination Accelerated Examination Program First Action Interview Patents Prosecution Highway Step 6, Applicant Who Should File? File yourself (Pro Se) Use a Registered Attorney or Agent (Recommended) Step 7, Applicant Prepare for electronic filing Determine Application processing fees Apply for a Customer Number and Digital Certificate Step 8, Applicant Apply for Patent using Electronic Filing System as a Registered e-Filer (Recommended) About EFS Web Step 9, USPTO USPTO examines application Check Application Status Allowed? Yes, go to Step 10 No, go to Step 12 Step 10, Applicant Applicant files replies requestes for reconsideration, and appeals as necessary Step 11, USPTO If objections and rejection of the examiner are ovecome, USPTO sends Notice of Allowance and Fee(s) due Step 12, Applicant Applicant pays the issue fee and the publication fee USPTO Grants Patent Step 13, Applicant Maintenance fees due 3 1/2, 7 1/2, and 11 1/2 years after patent grant end Download Utility Patent Application Guide

United States Patent and Trademark Office
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Last Modified: 12/5/2013 2:26:32 PM