“Patent pending” is a term used by inventors, manufacturers, and sellers to assert that an application for a patent on their invention is on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It serves as a warning to potential infringers on the invention. Both provisional applications and nonprovisional applications confer the right to use the term “patent pending.”

Once the application is either denied or abandoned, the term is no longer available to be used by the applicant. Anyone who improperly uses the term is subject to fines. Those wishing to employ the term “patent pending” must only do so in situations in which it legally applies.

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