Yes, you can sell a patent-pending product in the United States. When your invention is in the patent-pending process, you are permitted by law to place a patent-pending notice on the product label, website, brochures, and other marketing materials. Although the notice has no legal backing, it’s a very vital tool since it alerts other people and companies that you’ve filed a patent application and may receive patent protection.

Patent-pending is used to refer to a patent application that has been filed with the patent office but is yet to be issued as a patent. Patent Pending more or less shows that the inventor is seeking protection, but the level of protection, or whether an invention is patentable, is still not verified. Patent-pending protection is a very necessary step toward acquiring full patent protection. It is like the protection that comes into effect after the USPTO grants a patent.

If, for instance, you use a crowdfunding website to find investors, there is a probability of someone stealing your idea. However, having a patent-pending notice limits the risk of publicly speaking about your invention. Even though it doesn’t give you any legal backing immediately, it adds credibility to your product.

Patent-pending is enough to convince some people or make them comfortable enough to invest in your product. For consumer products, a patent-pending status may convince shoppers the product is unique. If anyone steals your invention, makes it, and sells it while your application is pending; you are permitted by law to send a letter notifying them that you’ve had a patent application published.

In the letter, you can encourage them to license your invention. While no one is mandated to respond to the letter by law, most often, they make changes to the product so that it’s different from the product described in the published patent application.

Sometimes too, the person may stop making your product or negotiate a License. However, if they continue copying your invention during the patent-pending process, you can further refer to the USPTO. You may also leverage other legal tactics to stop the person from copying your invention while the patent is pending.

Claims like copyright infringement, trade secret misuse, and many other claims can help you stop someone who’s stealing your invention. Have it in mind that a patent-pending status starts the same day an applicant files the application, and ends the day the office issues the patent or the applicant abandons the patent.

Ideally, the patent-pending process tends to last one to three years. For some inventions such as electronic applications and software suites, the patent-pending status may last for three to five years or even longer. The long wait period for a patent is the result of a backlog of applications with the USPTO.

Steps to Sell a Patent Pending Product in 2022

Just like it was noted above, with a patent-pending status, your invention is protected against infringement and you can sell it if you choose to. Here are the steps involved in selling your patent-pending idea:

  1. Carry out a Market Research

The first step towards selling a patent-pending product is to conduct detailed market research. This step is very necessary because you have to understand the market value of your idea. You have to look at comparable products and services within the market.

Note that you can either do this yourself or hire a marketing firm to do it for you. If you choose to do it yourself, then it is imperative you read trade publications and message boards and talk to people in the industry to which your invention or design will be targeted.

  1. Calculate The Value Of Your Product

Truth be told, this can be quite tricky to figure out since it is a unique and new product. You need to understand how much your product can make within the first year of entering the market. This will give you an idea of how much your invention is worth. Note that this should be based on your estimate of the going sales rate of your product plus any costs related to production and marketing.

  1. Create A Prototype Or Sell Sheet

As long as you can afford it, it is vital to create a prototype to show potential buyers. However, a more affordable method is to create a sell sheet which is a one-page document that outlines the invention. Note that this sell sheet will have to include a headline at the top that details your name or the invention name. Use the rest of the sell sheet to put together a detailed description of your product, like the problem it solves and the various benefits to its intended target audience.

  1. Speak to Companies

At this point, contact potential companies that are likely to be interested in the product. Note that you can send them an introduction with either the sell sheet or prototype. You can call also call different companies to analyze their interest in your product.

Consider meeting directors of marketing or development, and seek a referral to the company. Also, note that there are websites primarily designed for selling and buying patents. They offer access to patent buyers if you’re not an industry insider but frequently offer less lucrative rates.

  1. Negotiate A Contract

Once a company shows interest in buying your patent-pending idea, you have to negotiate a contract that explicitly states the terms of the sale of your invention. It is also very necessary that you hire a third-party intermediary to negotiate any contract so your interests are protected.

The contract should state that you are transferring ownership to the buyer and that the contract is dependent on amending the patent application. It will also have to detail the sales price, payment schedule, and any additional royalties or payments you are entitled to based upon sales.

  1. Amend Your Patent

After you must have reached a good agreement, contact the USPTO to have your patent amended to include the buyer of the patent and the terms of the contract. Draft a letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and ensure you list the patent application number, the date of application, and any other identifying information about the patent.

Request that the patent be amended to be owned solely by the person to whom you have sold the patent. Have it in mind that the patent office will contact you once it receives your letter and amends your application.

Conclusion

If you have a patent-pending serial number, you can start using it on the packaging, marketing materials, ad campaigns, and other outlets. Note that you do not have to wait until you have a full patent before you begin selling your idea.

Have it in mind that an invention that has received a patent-pending status is protected by the USPTO; therefore you can sell your idea without going against any law. Ensure you follow the steps noted above when you are looking to sell and soon you’ll start making money off your invention.