Invention Timeframe

Most first time inventors aren’t familiar with all of the steps that go into patenting an invention. In this article, we’ll review all of the steps in the invention timeline to see what it takes and how long it takes to turn an idea into a patent.

Initial Concept

The first step is coming up with an idea! Most inventors does this by identifying a problem in the current market, figuring out what would fix this, and figuring out how to construct a product that would incorporate these features. Once a final concept is made known to anyone but the inventor, they have one year to contact a company and get a Patent Application filed.

Research And Development

The next step is to contact a professional company for a patent search. A professional will perform a detailed patent search on the millions of existing patents to ensure that the invention has not been done before. Sometimes, the invention may be modified or improved during this period. Once this is accomplished, the company will generally help recommend a patent type. This process generally takes only a couple of months or weeks.

Preparing An Application

Once the research and development is complete, a licensed Patent Agent or Attorney will help to prepare a patent application. This involves drafting detailed engineering specifications, preparing artworks, and drafting the legal claims for the Patent Application. During this time, the inventor is deeply involved in making sure that the professional’s work matches the inventor’s vision. The application is usually filed within one year of the start of research, if not sooner.

Application Filed!

Once the application is filed, it’s up to the U.S. Patent Office to review the application before issuing a patent. During this time, the invention can be marketed to companies as a “patent pending”. The Patent Office can come back with questions, comments, and corrections to the patent application, which are handled by the hired professional. Getting a patent issued can take several years depending on the patent type, but as mentioned, most inventors begin pitching their idea while they wait.

Patent Issued!

Once a patent is issued, the inventor has sole intellectual property rights to their patented invention for up to twenty years depending on the patent type. The only step left now in the invention time frame is to enjoy having successfully patented an idea.


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Customer Reviews

4 Responses

  1. I wish you would have kept going on the topics like after a person gets their patent and where it goes from there. And to marketing and into the stores.
    I have a couple questions.
    1. Can a invention be marketed to more then one company?
    2. Does the company that produces it, do they move it into stores?
    or does the people you are working with do this?

    1. Hi Delores,
      Thank you for the suggestion on blog posts you would be interested in seeing; I will pass this information along for future topics! To answer your questions:
      1. Absolutely, an invention can be marketed to any number of companies.
      2. It depends on what sort of company & their particular capabilities, but ultimately the goal would be to get a company that produces the product to also distribute & retail it. We have a database of over 10,000 companies that we work with, so we can assist in finding someone to bring your product to market. Let us know if we can be of further assistance!
      Kind regards,
      Heather Kelleher

      1. Heather, I have a ‘Patent Pending’.
        So what do you charge to market my patent at this point?
        Garvin explained that I was just selling the idea but what if I hired someone to actually design the invention? Or it is it just best to not spend the money and leave it as is.
        I did not realize that the patent could be marketed while the patent is pending.
        I have a form from you that includes a ‘money back promise’. What does that relate to?
        I am looking for some way I can reduce your charge to market my invention – $6,000.00 is too much for me to come up with.

        1. Hi Maureen,
          We have different marketing packages available designed to fit all different budgets. If you would like to look at them in more depth, please check them out here:

          The VIP marketing packages include some really amazing features (such as a virtual prototype video, 3D images, etc), but the DIY marketing packages offer some other budget-friendly options. If you would like to discuss more in detail, please give us a call at the office at 724-745-9335. Thank you so much!
          Kind regards,
          Heather Kelleher

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