The patent process is generally very long – taking one to two years before an application is finally approved. During this period, the application generally travels back and forth between the applicant and the patent examiner until both sides agree as to which part of the invention is worthy of a patent. During this time, the claims mat be amended or changed.
Once an agreement between the applicant and the examiner is reached, the Patent and Trademark Office approved the application and writes a brief description in a publication entitled the Official Gazette. After publication, if no one objects to the patent, the applicant receives a patent deed.
Once the patent is received, the owner is charged with enforcing it; for instance, if a patent is being illegally violated, the patent owner must make that determination and filie a federal court action to enforce his or her rights.