My last patent US 10176661 (see it on patents.google.com), took three years to go from filing to issuance. It was a breakthrough, creating a whole new field of technologies (Photon-DSP).
My next patent applies some of the DSP aspects used in the last patent but puts that in the context of secure fiber optic signalling.
We have two huge problems — one is the uncontrolled proliferation of fiat money, and Modern Monetary Theory will make that much worse, almost to the level of Argentina or Venezuela.
The other huge problem is that big organizations worldwide are spilling half a billion internet accounts every year, which causes much disruption in terms of privacy, financial information, identity theft, purchasing information, and industrial espionage (and regular espionage including by countries).
So, it probably would be innovative and useful if a secure way could be found to send a signal through a fiber optic cable.
I have the drawings, the mathematics, the detailed description, and a partial list of prior patents that should be cited. I want to put a year of delay into the process, so I can find some venture capital, and some legal help. The way to do this is with a Provisional Patent Application, which gets a number and filing date from USPTO, but nobody looks at it, or does anything with it. It’s tossed into a box and put on a shelf, in a big dark room. So, it’s secret. And the inventor gets the early filing date, which matters a lot, but has a full year to take further action by filing for a utility patent, and then you cite your provisional, to get the early filing date, and sometimes the Examiner gives it to you, and sometimes she doesn’t. It depends on how close your claims are to what you filed in the provisional.