At the completion of this step you will be “patent pending” and will be in a position to freely disclose your invention to potential investors, distributors, licensors and customers. Your invention at the beginning of this step has gone through a number of reviews, criticisms and revisions, and hopefully you have improved your invention to a point where it is indeed ready to be submitted as a patent application. We highly recommend that either a properly licensed patent agent or attorney submit your invention to the United States Patent Office. Your patent attorney or agent will meet with you frequently and actually write the patent application which includes providing all necessary figures to accurately describe both the construction and operation of the invention. Patents filed in the United States are valid for a period of twenty years from the date of submission (the filing date). After your patent has been submitted, it usually takes a couple of years to prosecute your patent and finally get your patent issued.
The most important part of a patent is the claim(s) section. It is here where your legal rights, your intellectual property “claims”, are formulated. A narrow claim may be sufficient for you to be granted a patent but it may have little commercial value. First Inventors, working with your patent attorney, strives for the broadest claims possible as allowed by the patent office to give your invention broad legal protection thereby increasing its commercial value.
Your issued patent gives you offensive rights for a period of twenty years after your filing date, subject to any statutory extension. Offensive rights means that you have the legal right to "exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States of America for the term set forth below, subject to the payment of maintenance fees as provided by law."
Once you have filed your patent application, you will be officially patent pending and free to disclose your invention to the public without concern for confidentiality or other disclosure concerns
The cost of completing and filing a patent usually depends upon the complexity of the invention and the number of figures, and a quote for filing a utility patent application should have been previously provided to you if your patent search results were positive (i.e., your invention does indeed have patentable material).