Patent Pending

What Does Patent Pending Mean?

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.

Techopedia Explains Patent Pending

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.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.