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Introduction to Patents
Glossary of Patent Terms
Invention Disclosure
Patent Related Links

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13. What does 'Patent Pending' mean?

Sometimes inventors may wish to market their inventions without waiting for the patent to issue. The term patent pending may be marked upon a product as soon as, but never before, the patent application is submitted to the PTO. This term serves as a warning to others that a patent on the invention may be issued. However, until a patent actually issues, another party can make, use, and sell the invention. Once a patent issues, the actual patent number replaces the patent pending marking.

patent agent, patent application
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