What Does Patent Pending Mean?

We’ve all seen the late night infomercials touting their inventions, which all seem to have two common taglines. The first is something to the effect of “Call now and we’ll double your order!” and the second involves the phrase, “patent pending design.” But what does patent pending mean, and what kind of protection does a pending patent offer?


In short, a pending patent doesn’t offer an inventor any real protection until the patent is approved. If someone else starts selling a product using your patent pending invention, you can’t sue them for patent infringement. Only once your patent has been approved can you call a Scottsdale patent lawyer and take legal action for patent infringement.


The only level of protection a pending patent offers rests in the date of the application. This is what will protect your invention if someone else files for patent similar to your invention. In the US the first person to file wins, which is why it’s important to work with a patent attorney early in the process.


One important caveat to remember is that patents only protect what was disclosed in the application. This means that if you make a new modification or addition to your invention while the patent is pending (or after it is approved) it will not be protected by the patent. In this case you will most likely need to file a patent application to get full protection.


If you need help filing a patent or are confused about what stage of the process your patent application is in, call the Scottsdale patent attorneys at Parsons & Goltry.

Client Approved


"Our company has worked with a number of patent attorneys and were so pleased when we began working with Parsons & Goltry nearly a decade ago. Mike Goltry's knowledge and attention to detail has enabled us to have numerous products patented and trademarks registered. We highly recommend this Law Firm."

- Sharon K.


"Michael Goltry is the most professional, honest and effective patent attorney whom I ever met in my 40 year professional engineering career. I started to work with him over 20 years ago and plan to work indefinitely."

- Zoltan Kemeny, PhD, Struct. Eng.


"Mr. Goltry took a provisional patent that we'd filed ourselves, and quickly and professionally turned our innovation into U.S. and foreign applications. His [patent claims] were a thing of beauty, and I was amazed by how deftly he countered the inevitable office actions. His language held up, and the U.S. Patent just issued. He was easy and efficient to work with, and his fees were remarkably reasonable. We're not planning to go anywhere else, ever."

- Ski Milburn, CEO, Victori, LLC


"I applied for a patent through Parsons & Goltry. After being on the docket for 2 years at the USPTO, I received notification that my patent request had been denied. Michael Goltry contacted me immediately to review my options. After I informed him of my decision to move forward, he filed a response to the USPTO. In his response he got the examiner to fully understand the claims in the patent application and the "denied" decision was reversed. I was able to secure and receive a "patent granted" decision. Thank you, Michael Goltry."

- Kathy H., Inventor


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Scottsdale, AZ 85259

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Arizona’s premiere patent attorneys serving clients throughout the U.S. and internationally for almost 30 years.

Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, we serve clients locally as well as throughout the United States and across the world.