Label given to a claimed invention while the Patent and Trademark Office examines the patent application. No protection from infringement exists until a patent is granted, but this label may be used to notify customers and competitors that a patent is being sought. This phrase (or something similar) should only be used if a patent application has actually been filed. A monetary penalty exists for false marking. See 35 U.S.C. § 292.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
The status of an invention between the time when:a utility patent application has been filed and when it is issued or rejected, or the time between when a provisional patent application has been submitted and when a subsequent patent application is issued or rejected. Inventors mark their devices patent pending in order to place others on notice that they claim priority. Patent pending status does not bestow any legal right to stop copying.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:21 pm