A search is needed to determine if an invention is new, unobvious and therefore patentable. Additionally, a good patent search is needed by the patent attorney to write a broad patent. The results of the search greatly affect the way a patent is written. A professional patent search is therefore always recommended.
A typical patent application is between 20-30 typed pages plus 3-4 illustrations. This is the document that is written by the Patent Attorney and filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Once the patent application is written, it is filed with the Patent Office. The Patent Office filing fee must be paid. You will then have a patent pending.
Your patent application gets assigned to a Patent Examiner and awaits examination.
After pending many months, a Patent Examiner will examine the patent application to see if it meets the requirements for patentability. Most often, a Patent Examiner will require that parts of a patent application be changed. This requires that the Patent Attorney rewrite portions of the patent application and resubmit those amendments to the Patent Examiner for approval.
If the Examiner believes that your invention is patentable, the Patent Examiner will allow the patent application. The patent application is then forwarded to the printing department at the Patent Office, where it will be given a patent number and printed as a patent. The applicant must pay the issue fee for the printing of the patent.