Upon filing a provisional or non-provisional (i.e., regular) patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), a product may be marked “PATENT PENDING”. For example, the product may be stamped or the product literature may indicate that the product is “PATENT PENDING”. Marking the product with “PATENT PENDING” does not confer a legal benefit to the owner of the patent application. However, marking the product with “PATENT PENDING” may dissuade potential competitors from entering the marketplace with a similar product.
Upon issuance of a patent, the patent number may be placed on the product, and if not feasible, the patent number may be placed on a document shipped with the product or the product’s packaging. The patent marking may be in the form of “Pat.” or “Patent” along with the patent number (e.g., Pat. #######). The claims of the patent must encompass the product marked with the patent number. Otherwise, patentee may be liable for false patent marking.
The America Invents Act also permits Virtual Patent Marking.
You may also be interested in Penalty for False Patent Marking.
I invite you to contact me with your patent questions at (949) 433-0900 or James@OCPatentLawyer.com. Please feel free to forward this article to your friends. As an Orange County Patent Lawyer, I serve Orange County, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and surrounding cities.