What do you think takes more time: product development cycle for a medical device; or, obtaining a patent for that same device? The answer used to be that the product development took far more time and money than acquiring a patent. But today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have a huge backlog, making the wait for patent approval in excess of a year, and sometimes 3 years. In this blog, I will discuss how to take advantage of this backlog (or blackout) period. The moment you submit a patent application you are in cue for patent processing and you can put patent pending on your product. This period can be frustrating as it is definitely a waiting game and there is literally nothing you can do to expedite the process. However, the patent pending period can work to your advantage. Patent pending effectively warns your competitor that a patent application is in process. During this period, your competition may know that you have applied for a patent but they are not able to obtain information about the details of your product and therefore cannot react to it. In other words, you have proprietary information that no one else knows…so why not benefit from it? DeviceLab, a full-service medical device development company, has experience in using the blackout period to their client’s advantage. The most effective way of utilizing the long patent wait is to prepare feverishly and thoroughly for the launch of your product. Remember, you have over 1 year to march ahead with your marketing strategies, product upgrades, etc. without your competition knocking on your door.