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Patent pending is a product designation that is used to refer to a product for which a patent application has been filed and is under review. Patent pending does not provide infringement protection to property inventors or owners, but the designation serves as a warning alert to potential infringers regarding potential damage, seizure or injunction liabilities.
Patent pending is also known as patent applied for and may be abbreviated as pat. pending or pat. pend.
The laws of most countries prevent the fraudulent use of patent pending notices and may include specific provisions on how and when such notices may be used. Inventors should stay abreast of global patent regulations prior to releasing a new product. Some countries, like the United Kingdom, require product warning notices, including official patent application numbers.
In the U.S., any fraudulent use of a patent related designation results in fines up to $500 per offense. Under current interpretation, individually designated product items are considered separate offenses. All U.S. patent applications remain confidential until a patent is issued or the application publication. Patent applications are published no later than 18 months after the application filing date. When the patent is issued, the patent pending designation is replaced by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent number.