What Are the Three Different Types of Patents?

A patent is a written document that gives right of property to an inventor over a product or process that offers a new technical solution to a problem. There are three types of patents: utility, design, and plant. Utility patents cover discovery of a machine or article of manufacture and design patents protect an ornamental design. The latter protects the visual features of a product, such as a computer, but does not cover its structural features. Design patents are only available to those who have patented an original idea.

Utility patents

Utility patents protect useful inventions or improvements to existing ones. A utility patent can cover a process, a machine, or a composition of matter. Patents on these types of items can be very broad. In order to qualify for a utility patent, an inventor must have created a new product or process that is not already on the market. The subject matter of a utility patent must be useful to people in the present. This strand of utility can cover new biological or chemical formulas, processes, or procedures. Utility patents are the strongest forms of protection, but they can be difficult to obtain. Once obtained, the applicant may also be able to exclude others from using, manufacturing, or selling their invention for twenty years hence utility patents are granted for a minimum of twenty years, from the date of filing. When you are thinking about patent applications, you should consider whether you need a utility patent or a design patent. A utility patent is designed to protect your invention from duplication by other companies. A design patent, on the other hand, protects your invention against duplication by competitors. The final decision between utility and design patents will likely come during the patent evaluation process. Some inventors however opt to file for both. If you’re looking for a patent for a new product, a utility patent may be your best bet. Additionally, it is generally better to file multiple utility patents than a single utility patent. Utility patents are the most common type of patents. There are over eleven million of these issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A utility patent has a claims section and can be very broad, depending on the claim language. Because of their broad scope, they are the most common type of patent. In addition to design and process patents, there are also process patents. Utility patents cover useful processes, machine, article of manufacture, and software. Design patents protect aesthetics only. They do not protect the structure. These are the most common types of patents. However, design patents are the least expensive to file. You’ll need to apply for utility patents if you plan to protect functional features of an object.

Design patents

A design patent protects ornamental features or the look of an object, rather than its function. For instance, an application for a design patent for a computer mouse would cover the shape of the device rather than its functionality. For the patent to be granted, the product must be original and non-obvious, and must have a distinct design. While the process for obtaining a design patent is similar to that of obtaining a utility patent, the application process is shorter. Utility patents protect an invention’s functionality, while design utility-patents protect the aesthetic appearance of an object. However, utility and design patents may be applied for simultaneously. If you’re unsure about which to apply for, consider consulting an attorney before filing a design patent application. In most cases, it is best to file a design patent first before filing for a utility patent. A design patent application will usually cost less than a utility patent, but the process is still long and complex. In addition to clear and detailed drawings, applicants must also submit several angles of their invention to the USPTO. In some cases, black and white photographs may be substituted for drawings, but only if they’re the only practical medium for illustrating the invention. Design patents last 15 years and don’t require maintenance fees. A design patent is awarded when a new, non-obvious design can protect an item. Unlike utility patents, design patents protect the appearance of a product, but do not protect its functionality. While it is worth remembering that a design patent can protect the aesthetic appeal of an item, a utility patent protects the functionality of an object. You cannot obtain a design patent if your design has been copied by another designer or company. Utility patents are granted to companies who develop new products that have a functional benefit for the public. They are the most common type of patents, accounting for 90% of the total issued in the United States. Utility and plant patents are granted for 20 years, while design patents are granted for 14 or 15 years. Utility and design patents are issued for a limited period of time and require periodic maintenance fees. The duration of utility patents is usually twenty years, while design patents cover the aesthetics of the item. Only products and processes that are useful can be patented. A design patent is particularly valuable when it protects a new plant variety. The application process is lengthy and complicated, but it can result in a valuable asset.

Plant patents

A plant patent protects a new variety of asexually reproducing plant. The patented plant typically includes drawings of the plant and details of its characteristics. Plant patents have no maintenance requirements, and they are published 18 months after filing. A plant patent application publishes 18 months after the date of filing. Patents on plants can cover many different methods of propagation. For example, a plant patent can cover a method of replanting a plant without using seeds. In addition, a plant patent can cover methods of propagation without seeds, such as layering, budding, and grafting. Plants that can be protected by a plant patent will last for at least 20 years. A plant patent can protect new varieties of plants, including hybrids and sports, seedlings, mutants, and cultivars. The new variety must be novel and distinct from others to qualify. A plant patent entitles the owner to exclude others from producing, using, or selling the plant. It also does not require ongoing maintenance fees. The patent is issued for a period of 20 years and does not require any ongoing fees. Plant patents are applied for the discovery, invention, or asexual reproduction of a new plant variety. This would provide protection to the new plant variety. A phone case, for example, would probably be protected by a utility patent, but John would likely apply for a design patent. He would then use this design patent to protect his new invention. The two types of patents would require separate applications and filings. Design and utility patents protect the look of an article, while plant patents protect the function. Plant patents usually last for 20 years and do not require any maintenance fees. A design patent may also protect a non-functional article, such as the look of a wheel. A design patent is also a good idea to protect an original ornamental design. If you have a new invention that improves the quality of life of people, it may be worth patenting. While utility and design patents protect a newly invented object, plant patents protect a newly-discovered plant variety. Patents are awarded for unique designs, function, and appearance. Plant patents provide protection against a broad range of products. The most common types of patents are utility and design patents. The three types of patents differ in the scope of protection that each type provides. In general, utility and design patents offer the most protection. There are many ways to use plant patents. A plant patent may protect a genetically modified orange tree that produces fruit twice as large as normal citrus fruits. Plant patents can cover both the design and functionality of an orange tree. For instance, a genetically altered orange tree might be eligible for a utility patent covering the process of creating the fruit. It may also receive a plant patent for aesthetic purposes. Utility and design patents have the longest term of any type of patent. A plant patent will last for up to 20 years from the filing date. Plant patents, however, are rarely granted. They are not as common as design and utility patents, and make up only a small portion of all patents issued by the USPTO. Moreover, they will only cover plants that reproduce and are capable of reproducing themselves. Utility and design are difficult to separate in a plant patent. However, plant patents protect an ornamental design and can last for up to 20 years. In contrast, design patents protect a new or uniquely recognizable plant. Plant patents are rarely granted, as fewer than 1,200 plant patent applications are filed each year with the USPTO. Aside from utility, design patents also protect plant varieties, but this is a rare kind of patent.