Once I apply for a patent, when can I start looking for manufacturers and engineers?


I have a (hardware) technology idea that several companies might be interested to compete with once created. Once I apply for a patent, can I proceed to scout for manufacturers, hire engineers, etc. knowing that the patent application was done and those who copy will be too late, or is it better to wait until it is completed?

Also, how long do patents take to complete processing, in the US? And can non-US citizens obtain patents in the US?

Legal Patent

asked Aug 12 '12 at 00:36
Aditya Menon
112 points
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  • Aditya, you had too many questions in your post, so I removed some of them to keep your post within the guidelines of this site. You can ask follow up questions if you'd like, but I believe we may have already answered some of your questions. I suggest taking a look at our [patent tag](http://answers.onstartups.com/questions/tagged/patent), as well as some of the questions linked under "Related" in the right sidebar. – Zuly Gonzalez 10 years ago
  • Thank you Zuly, I will do this and ask follow up questions if they have not been asked. It does help that the question is stored here though, and I can come back and research in pieces.Sorry for the mind-dump! – Aditya Menon 10 years ago
  • No problem. We realize it takes some time to get used to our somewhat unique rules. They were valid questions. It was just too many of them in one post. Let me know if you have any other questions about the site. – Zuly Gonzalez 10 years ago

1 Answer


I don't see any benefit to waiting until you get an actual patent out of your patent application. Getting a patent in the U.S. typically takes 3-5 years, but there are ways of speeding that up (for that, you need to talk to a patent attorney).

The U.S. does not put any restrictions on non-citizens, but your own country might. Some countries require you to get a "foreign filing license" before you file a patent application in the U.S., and they might make you file in your own country first.

Note that you do not have any rights until you actually get a patent. So if you release your product next month and a competitor copies you and releases the same product in two months, you can't do anything about it until you get your patent, which could be years later.

answered Aug 12 '12 at 07:37
1,936 points
  • Great answer! A tiny question: if said competitor, goes ahead and files their own patent application, is there a chance they will be granted before mine (even if they had filed two months after)? Is the patent system a First-in-First-out queue? – Aditya Menon 10 years ago
  • The patent office is definitely not a queue as there are many factors that can change the time to get through. Since the first to file has priority, however, your application would hopefully prevent theirs from being successful. – Kekito 10 years ago

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