The term “Patent Pending” and  “Patent applied for” are frequently used by manufacturers to inform the public that an application for a patent on the article is on file. False use of ” Patent Pending” and “Patent applied for” is illegal and can result in penalty. A Patent is pending approval at the time of filing. Most modern manufacturer and inventors submit their patent application electronically, so the patent becomes pending immediately upon submission.

Patents go through a long review process before being approved. During the process the patent can actually be sent back for re-submission further extending the approval process. By marking an item as “Patent Pending” or “Patent applied for” ,the manufacturer is clearly communicating that they have patent in process that may become approved anytime. This warning is considered sufficient to hedge off potential patent infringement. Inmost cases, you can obtain an injunction yo halt the manufacturing of the patented product until review process is complete.

What does it mean?

The use of patent pending , surprisingly does not fully protect the inventor or manufacturer from the competitor. Until the USPTO patent application is completely approved, any other manufacturer can legally use the basic concepts behind any product or technology. What patent pending does is let all the competitors know that, in a relatively short amount of time, the product would be exclusive property of the patent holder. Other companies can continue to produce similar products right up until the official patent is issued and marking on the patented product are changed. Sometimes the inventor may wish to market their invention 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 the others that a patent on the invention will be issued shortly.

However, until the patent is issued another party can make,use or sell invention. Once a patent issues, the actual patent number replaces the patent pending marking. The intention is to disable would be competitors, since they may loose money that they have invested in the product when the patent is granted. Nothing more than that you have a patent application on file at the USPTO. You may mark the product “Patent Pending” if you have filed patent application which would cover at least a part of the product so that application has not been abandoned or withdrawn. There is no legal requirement to mark a product with “Patent Pending”,  but many feel their are many advantages if they do so. “Patent pending” is a phrase often marked on products, indicating that a patent application is pending with claims that cover the marked product or process. The purpose of marking a product as “patent pending” is to give notice to potential imitators that a patent may issue.

How can i search for Patent Pending?

If you wish to check to check for existing patent pending in UK, track the progress of the published patent application or see if patents are available to license the Intellectual Property Office IPO, allows you to search using its patent information and document service and patent publication service.

The IPO can also lists separate channels for the following:

  1. Published Green Channel patent publication
  2. Patents with a license of right that you can license to use
  3. Patents no longer in force

If, after you’ve conducted the necessary patent searches, you’re satisfied that you have an idea that’s potentially patent able, the next step is to undertake a period of market research to understand your target market and its viability as a business.


A product or process secures patent pending when a patent application has been filed but is not yet granted. A patent pending is designed to warn the general public, competitor, within your industry and other potential infringer that could copy an invention that they may be liable for damages once the full patent is issued. The fraudulent use of a patent pending is prohibited by law in the country like UK, a patent pending warning notice should ideally include the number of pending application in question. A Patent Pending is clear demonstration of an inventor’s intent to pursue protection of an idea. However full scope of protection or indeed whether a patent will be even issued is far from the certain. It’s possible that a patent pending will stop aggressive competitors from attempting to copy your idea. The cost of product development combined with the prospect of possible patent infringement is often enough to stop many people in their tracks. But a patent pending itself gives you no legal right at all until a patent is granted fully.