What Are the Three Types of Patents?
There are two kinds of patents: Utility patents and Design or Plant patents. Utility patents are intended to protect useful, novel, and nonobvious inventions. They also cover improvements to existing inventions. The terms “compositions of matter” and “processes” refer to the ways of doing something. In addition, “machines” refer to items that are recognized worldwide as machines.
There are three types of patents available: design, plant, and utility. A utility patent protects a new process, product, or chemical formula. A utility patent lasts 20 years from the date of filing. This type of patent has more requirements than a design patent, but a utility patent protects the same invention for a longer period of time. Utility patents are expensive and tedious to pursue. In addition to the application process, patent holders must pay ongoing fees to maintain their patents.
To obtain a utility or design patent, the subject matter of the invention must be useful. Traditionally, usefulness has meant operability, practical use, or beneficial use. A fantastic invention, for example, cannot be operated. Practical use, on the other hand, refers to a practical, real-world application. Many types of inventions meet these requirements; chemical compounds are particularly difficult to patent. The beneficial use strand of the utility requirement barred immoral or deceptive inventions.
Utility patents protect the creation of new and useful processes, products, machines, and compositions of matter. Utility patents are the most common type of patents, and make up 90 percent of issued patents. Examples of utility patents include new car wheels or the processes and software that make them work. In the US, utility patents allow inventors to exclude others from making, selling, or using their invention for up to twenty years.
Design patents protect only the appearance of an object. They are not as flexible as utility patents. As the name suggests, design patents protect only the appearance of a product. They are generally a bit more expensive, but they can help you attract investors to your business. You might even get a design patent on the appearance of your product. It’s worth checking out both types before making a decision.
A utility patent is an important type of patent protection. It prevents your competitors from copying your invention. A utility patent has five categories, and your invention can fall under more than one. Computer software, for example, could fall into more than one category. However, one utility patent can be issued for the same invention. There are also exceptions to the patenting process. So, a design patent is a good choice for a kitchen gadget that protects the user.
Design patents are issued for new, ornamental designs. Although they are generally easier to obtain than utility patents, they are also the least sought after by the USPTO. This type of patent allows the inventor to restrict others from using, selling, and making the design. The design patent term lasts for 15 years and does not require any maintenance fees. The timeframe for design patents may change in the future.
Design patents cover the ornamental aspect of an invention, not its functionality. For example, a computer mouse may qualify as a design patent, because it doesn’t have a functional part, such as a battery. The shape must be new, non-obvious, and ornamental. Unlike utility patents, design patents are issued only for the design, not the product itself.
In order to protect a design, you must file an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office. A design patent covers a design that has a distinctive look, but a utility patent protects the machine itself. If you are unsure of the usefulness of your design, you can file a provisional patent application. This provides you with more time to file a more complete utility application.
A design patent is a separate category. It protects a product’s aesthetic appearance and is typically less costly than utility patents. Design patents are usually applied for when you create a new ornamental design on a manufactured item. Utility patents last for 20 years, while design patents last for up to 14 or 15 years. Design patents also do not require any maintenance fees, but the term is shorter than utility patents.
In the United States, all types of patents are governed by the Patent Act, or Title 35 of the United States Code. Each category has specific sections that govern it. For example, plant patents and design patents are only governed by Chapter 15 and 16 of the United States Code, respectively. You may also be able to combine design patents with utility patents to protect your invention. This way, you can protect your intellectual property, and stimulate the economy.
A plant patent is applicable to the discovery, invention, or asexual reproduction of a new variety of plant. A plant patent would protect a variety of plant that cannot be reproduced by traditional methods, such as grafting. Patent holders of this type of patent would need to demonstrate that they can reproduce their plant using asexual methods. For instance, if John is the inventor of a new cultivator of the African violet, he would likely file for a utility patent. On the other hand, if John wanted to patent a new design, he would file a design patent.
Patents for plants are the rarest form of patents. They are issued for new varieties of plants and cover new species or sports of plants. The types of plants that can be protected by plant patents include seeds, mutants, and cultivated sports. Plant patents last up to 20 years and require no maintenance fees. Patent holders can also exclude others from growing, using, or selling the new variety.
Utility patents are the most common type of patent. In 2015, there were over 288,300 utility patents and 39,000 design patents filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. They are different types of patents, with different sections governing each type. Plant patents are governed by Chapter 15, while design patents are exclusively governed by Chapter 16.
Patents for plant varieties are not as common as utility and design patents, but they are nonetheless a unique type of patent. Plant patents protect newly discovered asexually reproduced plants. They last for 20 years. The duration of a plant patent depends on whether it was originally a utility or a design. If the design and utility of a plant can be separated, it will likely be protected by a utility patent.
Utility patents protect a composition or a process, while plant patents protect a new variety of plant. Both types have distinct rules and regulations and protect the rights of their holder. Utility patents are often granted for new technologies, while plant patents protect plants that can reproduce. If you think a plant patent will protect your invention, it is best to pursue one. In addition, a plant patent protects an innovative process or design.
Design patents protect the ornamental appearance of an object
Design patents protect the ornamental appearance of objects. However, the ornamentality of an object is not necessarily necessary to qualify for this type of patent. Many articles of manufacture, whether functional or not, have a pleasing appearance. In order to qualify for design patent protection, an object must have a distinct appearance that is not governed by the functional requirements of the article. The following are some of the factors that must be considered before filing a design patent application.
A design patent is a very common type of patent. It protects a particular design element of an object. The USPTO defines an object as anything made with human hands. Once the patent holder has received approval, they can sue anyone who tries to copy their design without permission. Because ornamental designs are not generally published in the public domain, finding them online is not easy. That’s why you should work with a patent attorney, who has access to more records than an average person.
Whether or not an ornamental design patent is appropriate for your business depends on the complexity of the design. The USPTO will review the application if it is similar to existing ornamental design patents. Fortunately, there are several ways to search for these patents. For example, you can look up the patent numbers of products that contain the design in question on the USPTO website. In some cases, you may be able to find a design patent that’s similar to yours. A patent lawyer can do this for you, ensuring that your drawings adhere to the standards necessary to obtain a design patent.
A design patent may only cover one claim, but it may also be divided into several. Two separate designs may be separated from each other if they do not appear to have any relation to one another. However, if two related articles share the same ornamental appearance, they may be considered separate and independent. One design may include several different embodiments and variations. A design patent can protect many designs. So, design patents protect ornamental appearance of an object.