If the results of the patent examination are favorable, a patent will be granted. A patent is an exclusive right of its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling your invention as defined in the claims of your patent for a period of time, which in the United States is 20 years from the date of filing your patent application.

After your patent has issued, maintenance fees must be paid at 3 1/2, 7 1/2, and 11 1/2 years from the date of issue to keep your patent in force.

Copyright 1995 Michael J. Colitz, Jr.