How to tell when your patent has been approved

There are a variety of ways of finding out when your patent is granted, but the quickest mechanism is to check your mailbox. But the thing to look for is not what you might think.

Even before you receive word from your company's patent department, you will start receiving junk mail delivered to your home address from companies that sell patent-related novelties, pointless trinkets like pencils and mugs with your patent number on it. Nevermind that you can probably order personalized pencils for much less than what the patent-chasers were offering.

Comments (10)
  1. george byrkit says:

    Yes, you are absolutely right!  And they offer plaques with the cover page of the patent application on it as well.  I know this from personal experience.

    This is so similar to ‘vanity publishing’ that I think they prey on the inventors.  Of course, that brings up the whole ‘invention support’ industry (‘let us shop your patent to major companies’ etc) that most regulators and such warn are useless.

  2. Krunch says:

    You get the same kind of junk when you start a non-profit association. Yeah sure, I will buy a fax for my new non-profit association when we don’t even have a regular room to meet in.

  3. James says:

    Best part of that first link is that his patent wasn’t granted (or even not granted) when he wrote the post. It was given the final rejection this past June as being obvious.

  4. "You get the same kind of junk when you start a non-profit association."

    Or when you register a for-profit corporation :)

    I also registered a trademark, and have received numerous scam mail asking for payments of $2000 (+ or – any number of your choice) to be registered in some kind of international business catalog. The letters aren’t even clever — they’re littered with grammatical and spelling errors, and don’t even offer to send you a copy of the catalog. You’re just promised that you’ll be added to some kind of online database.

  5. Adam V says:

    @Rick Brewster:

    Obligatory TDWTF link:!.aspx

  6. Jim K says:

    Great, something to look forward too.  I have to go to the Post Office to get my mail since I live so far out in the sticks.  I tend to not get there as often as I should.  Can’t wait for them to start scolding me more for having an over stuffed box….. Maybe it would be better if the patent is not approved….

  7. kip says:

    Similar thing happened when I was in a car accident one time.  The very next day I had mail from a lawyer.  The day after that I had letters from dozens more lawyers, body shops, and chiropractors.  Some included a copy of the police report (I guess to make me think it was something official and not an advertisement?).

  8. ton says:

    I’m curious aren’t there also numerous "offers" from patent trolls and other sleazy types to buy the patent so they can add it to their portfolio?

  9. Craig says:

    Yes, so true!

    I actually applied for a patent and then left the company (on good terms) a couple years later. I had totally forgotten about it when I got an offer for a framed copy of the patent, and realized what it was. So I called the company and told them about it, and they actually sent me the patent-bonus even though I didn’t work there anymore. I miss that company!

  10. James Bray says:

    "I was there because my wife had just delivered our brand new baby boy: Beckett Ethan Chambers (his initial spell his name, just like his 3 older brothers)."

    That’s just one step away from naming your child with a recursive acronym :-)


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