How long does it take to patent a product and how do I start the process?
It all depends on the quality of invention and number of examination reports issued for said patent application.
The European patent grant procedure takes about three to five years from the date your application is filed. It is made up of two main stages. The first comprises a formalities examination, the preparation of the search report and the preliminary opinion on whether the claimed invention and the application meet the requirements of the EPC. The second involves substantive examination.
Currently average wait time after filing patent application at USPTO is about 21 months. The average time it takes to obtain a patent from the patent office at this time is about 32 months or a little under 3 years. An applicant can also apply for a fast track prioritized examination (i.e. Track One), to be considered for the prioritized examination, the applicant must pay additional large fee to USPTO. time limit for eaxmination report is 12 month in this case.
At what stage of the patenting process can I start showing my product
without the risk of someone copying it? How many months for that since
I start the process?
In all jurisdiction you can start marketing or promoting your product right after filing your patent application and disclosure will not hamper novelty of application. However you have to keep in mind that all embodiment of inventions are mentioned in application. if you add matter on later date and your prior disclosure had same feature examiner might grill you on novelty and inventive step.
Once my product is patented, for how long is the product patented? We
are speaking about a medical device.
question has been already replied :- How do you determine a patent's expiration date?
Almost all European patents expiry
is lot simpler it is 20 years from filing date (inid 22). However in some countries it can be upto 25 years on payment of additional fee.
according to Article 63 of EPC
The term of the European patent shall be 20 years from the date of filing of the application.
Nothing in the preceding paragraph shall limit the right of a Contracting State to extend the term of a European patent, or to grant corresponding protection which follows immediately on expiry of the term of the patent, under the same conditions as those applying to national patents:
in order to take account of a state of war or similar emergency conditions affecting that State;
if the subject-matter of the European patent is a product or a process for manufacturing a product or a use of a product which has to undergo an administrative authorisation procedure required by law before it can be put on the market in that State.
Paragraph 2 shall apply mutatis mutandis to European patents granted jointly for a group of Contracting States in accordance with Article 142.
A Contracting State which makes provision for extension of the term or corresponding protection under paragraph 2(b) may, in accordance with an agreement concluded with the Organisation, entrust to the European Patent Office tasks associated with implementation of the relevant provisions.