The waiting game October 09 2013
Like I said in the last post, my patent application was submitted to the USPTO in December of 2007, and I did not get notice that it issued until March of 2010. A mere 27 months of waiting to find out if the small fortune I spent was going to amount to anything. When you apply for a patent, you pay the price regardless of whether or not you actually receive the patent. Patent agents and attorneys don't cut you any slack if the USPTO denies the claims. You're out the money either way.
And receiving notice that a utility patent has issued doesn't mean that you are on track to become an instant millionaire. It just means that the USPTO agrees that you have a unique idea, and you have the right to protect that idea in court if someone copies it. This was just the first hurdle on my path to producing this product. Not everyone goes this route, but I decided that if I could not obtain a utility patent I wasn't proceeding any further. So the wait began. And continued. For 27 months.
Back in 2007 when my application was submitted, the theme of "patience" was always part of my prayer life. My kids were 8, 5 and 3 at the time, and I will admit that I'm a bit of a control freak. Of course things in life (especially when kids are involved) are always somewhat out of control, so I recognized that I could use a bit more patience and prayed for it often (or all the time – whatever). Funny thing is that no matter how hard I prayed for it, God decided it might be better to teach me patience instead of giving it to me. And this was just one fine example of that.
So I waited. And learned patience. I was excited about my idea but didn't share details of it with anyone. I knew it was a no-go if the patent didn't issue. I didn't want to start on prototypes and run the risk of wasting money, and I didn't want my idea leaking to the wrong person or company and having a copycat product out there before I even had the chance to get it out there myself. So I patiently (sometimes) waited.
Do good things always come to those who wait? Definitely not. But in this case my patient waiting paid off. My patent issued and I was ready to move on to the next step: prototypes.