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Length of a Patent

How Long Does Patent Protection Last?

For applications filed on or after June 8, 1995, utility and plant patents are granted for a term which begins with the date of the grant and usually ends 20 years from the date you first applied for the patent subject to the payment of appropriate maintenance fees. Design patents last 14 years from the date you are granted the patent.  Note: Patents in force on June 8 and patents issued thereafter on applications filed prior to June 8, 1995 automatically have a term that is the greater of the twenty year term discussed above or seventeen years from the patent grant. 

How Long Does it Take for a Patent Application to be Processed?

Currently, the average patent application pendency is 24.6 months.  Applications received in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are numbered in sequential order and the applicant will be informed within eight weeks of the application number and official filing date if filed in paper.  If filed electronically, the application number is available within minutes.