What is abandoning

Home » Resources » Patent Prosecution » What is abandoning

What is abandoning?

This is a hard subject often for inventors.  To talk about abandoning a patent application is somewhat akin to having to break up a long term relationship.  You’ve invested time, money, and energy at this point.  Can abandoning really be an option?

The answer is simply that yes it is an option.  And that all may depend on the strategy associated with the client.  For example, let’s say that we filed a patent designed to penetrate the market.  Unfortunately, however, while the application was being prosecuted, your competitor released a similar product with a granted patent that would predate your product.  Although you could proceed forward and try to “hedge” in the patent of your competitor, it may also make sense simply to say that the market’s saturation may exceed the value of getting the patent.

Abandoning a patent application is very much an economic cost/benefit analysis.  On one hand, spending an additional $10k may help get the patent to grant, but then you have to consider at the expense of what.  For example, that same $10k could be invested towards a separate patent that may be targeted for a market niche not yet exploited. 

In other words, the same amount of money may be better spent – which may provide a reward with greater value and protection – than an otherwise less desirable route.  The reality is that sometimes we simply do not know the market conditions until we are in the midst of the prosecution process.  Based on such an analysis, however, abandoning an application may be in the client’s best interest because that may free up some financial resources, which may then be used on some other avenues of protection.

As such, abandoning does not mean giving up.  It simply means to strategically assess the value of the patent even while it is being examined.