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10. How Long does it take to get a Patent

The period of time which the Patent Office usually requires to review and grant a patent varies from about 1.5 to 2.5 years. In special circumstances, you can accelerate the process. Your age and health, as well as the importance of your invention to society, are factors which the government will consider if you ask it to accelerate your application's review. This is known as the period during which your patent application is "pending". During this period, you can expect to spend on average anywhere from two hundred to six hundred dollars per month for patent-related fees. However, each month's fees almost never hit the average, and may vary from nothing to more than $1500.

Inventors often ask me this question: "Once I file a patent application, should I wait until the Patent Office grants my patent before I attempt to market and sell my invention?" Usually, the answer to this question is "no". However, the quality and type of patent application which you filed are significant factors in a determination of whether you are free to market and sell your invention. If the patent application which you filed was thoroughly descriptive of your invention, and you do not anticipate major improvements, you may be free to market and sell. However, someone else may hold a patent on an aspect of your invention, and can therefore prevent you from making, using, or selling your invention. Therefore, I recommend that you hire a practitioner to perform a "right-to-use" search before you begin manufacturing, marketing, or selling products based on your invention.

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