Starting a Business

How long does the patent process last?

min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Patents are their own, strange animal within the intellectual property family. It takes specialized knowledge to write a successful patent application. While there are non-lawyers who are well-versed in writing patent applications, they cannot necessarily advise you properly about which patent is right for you, or any of the legal ramifications of an unsuccessful patent.

A patent typically takes two to three years to obtain (although it can take longer) and the fees for obtaining one can mount into the many thousands of dollars, depending on your invention and what you are trying to protect. If you're going to spend the money to get a patent (which lasts 21 years), do it right -- don't do it yourself (unless, perhaps, you are a patent attorney).

Speak to an attorney who specializes in patent law to get clear on the process, the preliminary searches and investigation you may want to undertake, the costs and fees involved, and the extent to which you have the capitalization to really market the product once you have the patent.

More from Entrepreneur

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.