How long does it take to get a patent?
The short answer is: Years. From around two and a half, to three or four years. Certain business method and Internet related inventions are taking 5 to 7 years.
The longer version covers WHY it takes that long.
The number one reason is that the Patent office is really backlogged! Over half a million patent applications are waiting in line, so it can be a few years before they even get to yours.
The second thing is- in almost every instance, the Patent office responds with some kind of refusal on any number of grounds.
You might think: Well if the lawyer were any good at his job, he’d be able to write something that would get by the first time! …. and he could. But his job is not just to get a patent issued, his job is to make it worth something. Patent applications that get through the first time are probably too narrow- meaning competitors can easily get around your patent and circumvent any value you’d get out of it.
Fish IP Law is pushing to get as much value out of the patent as we can by broadening the possibilities. The Patent Office pushes back against this and it is this process of back and forth that costs so much time.
There are some exceptions to the long wait times. The first is to pay more money and expedite the process.
The second is to file a petition for special treatment because the inventor is at least 65 years old.
But generally, the backlog is going to cause a long wait, and ‘yes’, it can be really frustrating. However, the last thing an inventor wants is to get a cheaper… but useless patent.