BizTerm Definition
patent pending
Full Definition

The status of an invention between the time a patent application has been filed and when it is issued or rejected. Inventors often mark their devices "patent pending" in order to deter potential competitors from copying the invention or from trying to claim it as their idea. For example, an inventor develops a method for constructing legal documents in an electronic format that allows an online program to perform like a live lawyer. She files a patent application, marks the notebook describing her invention as patent pending, and feels secure in marketing the invention to major online legal publishers. If one of these publishers does try to cheat the inventor out of her invention, she will be able to prove her prior inventorship and, if she gets the patent, force the publisher to stop using the ripoff.

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