How long does it take a patent attorney to get a patent?

The answer to this question is that it depends.  The United States Patent Office has a wide variety of art groups to which patent examiners, who are typically patent agents or patent attorneys, are assigned to.  Some art units take longer to examine patent applications than others likely due to either a lower number of patent examiners or a higher number of applications.  Typically these patent groups are more complex mechanical, electrical, or biotechnology groups.  Typically it takes twelve to eighteen months from when one of our patent attorneys files a patent application for the Patent Office to initiate substantive examination of the application.  The patent examiner assigned to the patent application examines the application as to form and as to substance. Some patent applications filed by our attorneys issue without any major substantive or form rejections and some incur such rejections or objections.  This is highly dependent on the art unit to which the application is assigned, the subjectivity of the examiner assigned, and often the complexity of the field.  If a rejection is issued the patent attorney has three months to respond to the government rejection.  Often the patent application issues after a first response is filed; however it can take several attempts to negotiate coverage before the patent attorney obtains an issued patent.  The time frame is typically extended if the patent attorney files a provisional patent application first, which is not examined by the Patent Office for the twelve (12) months it is pending.