Patent Pending Law and Legal Definition

Patent pending is wording placed on a product to inform others that an application for a patent has been filed with the U.S. Patent Office, but the patent has not yet been granted. It is often abbreviated to "pat. pend." or "pat. pending". The law imposes a fine on those who use these terms falsely to deceive the public.

Most patent applications filed on or after November 29, 2000, will be published 18 months after the filing date of the application, or any earlier filing date relied upon under Title 35, United States Code. Otherwise, all patent applications are maintained in the strictest confidence until the patent is issued or the application is published. After the application has been published, however, a member of the public may request a copy of the application file. After the patent is issued, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office file containing the application and all correspondence leading up to issuance of the patent is made available in the Files Information Unit for inspection by anyone, and copies of these files may be purchased from the Office.