Patent Application Number

Lia Kopin-Green
October 2, 2022

What is a Patent Application Number?

A patent application number is a unique set of numbers that is assigned to a patent application after it is filed. The application number consists of a two-digit series code followed by a six-digit serial number. It is common to include a forward slash after the first two digits of the patent application number.

Once the application is approved and the invention is considered fully patented, you will receive an official patent number. 

Key Takeaways

  • A patent application number is a unique identifier assigned to a patent application upon filing.
  • Patent applications are presented as a two-digit series code followed by a six-digit serial number.
  • A full patent number will be assigned if the patent application is approved.

More on Patent Application Numbers

Once you have finished filling out your patent application, it is typically sent by mail to the Office of Patent Application Processing (OPAP) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The OPAP will assign a patent application number as soon as they receive the application. Those who submitted patent applications through the USPTO website will receive an Acknowledgement Receipt with a patent application number.

Patent application numbers are 8-digit codes that can be divided into two sections: a two-digit series identifier and an 8-digit serial number. The two-digit code relates to the particular type of patent application or proceeding. Utility, plant and reissue patent applications include a series code of 01-14, depending on the year the patent is filed. Provisional patent applications, on the other hand, contain a series code of 60, 61, or 62. Moreover, design patents can be identified using the series code 29.

The 8-digit serial number that follows is generally assigned in chronological order. 

Patent Application Numbers vs. Patent Numbers

In contrast to patent application numbers, patent numbers are only given once an invention is fully approved and patented. Patent numbers are an especially important intellectual property identifier as they indicate that a product or service is federally protected by a patent. In addition, patent numbers are useful while conducting searches for prior art patents or other types of patent research. This is due to the fact that important patent details about the creation or invention can be retrieved with a patent number, such as the inventor’s name, the type of patent, the patent issue date and the patent title. 

Bottom Line

Patent application numbers may seem insignificant, but they are actually a very important piece of information when it comes to filing a patent. This number can be used to check the status of your patent on the USPTO website. 

Navigating the patent application process without an attorney can be complicated. If you need assistance checking the status of your patent, or if you are having trouble finding your patent application number, feel free to reach out to one of our expert intellectual property attorneys today.

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