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The fourth step to patenting is patent application filing. Patent application filing is the submitting of a complete and properly formatted patent application to the patent office. In addition to the proper forms, a complete and properly formatted patent application includes a specification (description, claims, and abstract) and drawings (if needed). You should also file an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS), preferably at the time of initial filing. Once filed (you’ll get a filing receipt), your invention is patent pending.

Our USPTO registered patent attorney can help file an application for patent protection for your invention. Also, the patent filing service is included in our patent writing costs for inventions we represent. Schedule a free patent consultation to get started. Read about who can be the patent applicant.

Inventor Tip: Good searching is essential to proper application writing. Specifically, searching guides good claim writing by finding existing similar claims. Further, well written claims improve the protection the patent provides.

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37 Second Video Explaining Patent Step 4 Patent Application Filing

Application Filing Details

For utility, plant, and design patents, the fourth step to patenting is patent application filing. After successfully filing a patent application, the invention becomes patent pending because the application is pending with the patent office. Filing is the submitting of a complete and properly formatted patent application to the patent office and paying the filing fee. In addition to the proper forms, a complete and properly formatted patent application includes four important documents: the claims, a specification, an abstract, and the drawings. Filing an invention’s patent application is conducted either online (electronically) or via postal mail.

Carson Patents recommends online patent application filing. Successfully submitting any documents, files, or fees to the patent office online will produce a filing receipt at the time of filing to verify the day and time of your submittal. The electronic filing receipt you get when submitting patent application online is not the formal filing receipt. The patent office will review the materials submitted to verify the minimum patent application filing requirements (specification, claims, drawings, fee, inventors oath, and a translation if needed) are present and send an official filing receipt or notice of missing parts.

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Get a Patent Application Filing Date Online or by Mail

Patent application filing is conducted two ways: electronically (online) and via postal mail. Filing either United States (U.S.) and/or international patent applications can be conducted electronically or by mail via postal mail. However, electronic filing is highly recommended and may be required to submit an international application to the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (UPSTO) charges higher filing fees for postal mail filing to cover the costs of them scanning the documents for electronic access.

How to File a Patent – Electronic Filing

Patenting step four is patent application filing. Filing a U.S. design, utility, or plant patent application online is the preferred method. In other words, patent filing online is the best and recommended way to submit a patent application.

At the USPTO, Patent Center controls electronic patent filing. Filing an application in Patent Center requires an online account. Getting an online account with the USPTO requires either an online identification verification or a hand notarized request faxed or mailed to the USPTO prior to having access. The account will also permit tracking of the application, submitting of replies, and paying the fees. You can login anytime and check the status online with your account. The online account is available for free on the USPTO Patent Center page.

The international applications are the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for utility patenting and the Hague for design patenting (registering). The USPTO accepts the international PCT applications for utility inventions electronically through Patent Center. However, the USPTO does not accept the Hague applications for design inventions.

WIPO accepts both the PCT international applications and the Hague Industrial Design applications directly. WIPO has a single online entry point for intellectual property (IP) applications. WIPO accepts both PCT and Hague applications filed directly, as well as PCT applications filed through the USPTO. We recommend submitting the international patent applications through the patent office located in your country.

How to file a Patent – Postal Mail Filing

Patent application filing can be done by postal mail. To file by mail, simply mail in the claims, abstract, specification, drawings, all the forms, and payment of the filing fee to the USPTO. Mail processing for both U.S. and international patent applications is available. The USPTO recommends and encourages electronic filing. Consequently, the USPTO has lower patent application filing fees for electronic filing. In other words, paper filing by mail has higher patent application filing fees.

After Filing

Once patent application filing is complete, your invention is patent pending. Filing online generates an electronic filing receipt. You will be able to download a copy of the filing receipt created at the time of patent application filing. In addition, once submitted, the patent office will review the submission to ensure all of the required parts are present and in acceptable format. If the application is complete and proper, the patent office will send a filing receipt. However, if the application is incomplete or improper, the patent office will send a notice of missing parts or a notice of incomplete application. Read more about what happens after filing a patent application.

Carson Patents recommends patent application fling be conducted online.

What is New Matter?

New Matter is content not found in either the originally submitted written description or drawings of a patent application. Generally, anything added to the documents submitted in the original patent application filing is likely new matter. New matter is new content involving a departure from or an addition to the original disclosure (first patent application filing). It is trying to add stuff to a patent application. For more information, check out our article new matter in patent applications.

Inventor Tip: New matter cannot be added to a patent application even if supported by a supplemental oath or declaration. You can only add, show, or claim new matter in a separate application.

To add new matter to a patent application, there are two options. First, we can write and file a new application. And, second, we can file a continuation in part application. Which option is the best choice depends on the new matter and the current state of any pending patent application. Contact us for help adding new matter to your invention’s patent application.

Patent Filing Help Available Online

Patent help for patent application filing, starting at – $840.

Patent Confidentiality. Invention disclosures to patent practitioners are covered by client controlled privilege.

Patent applications can take several years to complete. There are several ways of getting patent applications prosecuted faster. Read more about getting your patent application finished faster in our article on accelerating patent applications.

Inventor Tip: When looking for expert patenting help, only a USPTO licensed patent attorney or patent agent can prosecute patents for you.