- Blue Belt
- Posts: 431
- Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:23 pm
- Location: Tempe, AZ
A patent can be enforced in a court of law as soon as it is granted by the USPTO. If certain conditions are met, it is possible to sue for infringement related damages retroactive to whenever the relevant patent application was published by the USPTO. Pre grant publication usually occurs about 18 months after a non provisional patent application is filed.
While this usually will not really impact an inventor, it does mean that even after a patent application has been filed, other parties will still have the right to market an invention free of penalty before pre grant publication occurs.