The Power of "Patent Pending"

"Patents and patent applications are very effective marketing tools and deterrents to competitors. When a patent application is filed, a product may be properly marked as "patent pending." This marking serves two very important functions.
In a general marking sense, the "patent pending" or "patented" markings indicate to consumers that the product is unique and cannot be obtained anywhere else...

When a product is marked "patent pending," and additional business device is invoked, that of doubt in a competitor. During the prosecution of a patent, the actual extent of the patent claims is unknown, since the examiner and the patentee have not finalized their understanding of the scope of the patent.... Before the patent issues, however, a competitor is always in doubt about how much coverage the issued patent will give the patentee. The competitor must weigh the costs of developing a competing product with the risk that his or her product may directly infringe when the patent issues. In many scenarios, the "patent pending" moniker is more effective as a business tool than the actual issued patent."

From this post by Russ Krajek.