What Are the Three Types of Patents?
There are a few different types of patents. You should choose the appropriate one for your invention. Utility patents, design patents, and plant patents are just a few examples. Each category has its own unique requirements and benefits. For more information, check out our patent articles. We have a comprehensive list of what each of these categories entails. To learn more, check out our guide on Plant, Design, and Utility patents.
Before you file for a utility patent, you should make sure your invention is useful. In the past, usefulness was defined in three ways: operability, practical use, and beneficial use. These three requirements make it very difficult to obtain a utility patent for an invention that is too fantastic to operate. Generally, however, the practical use strand is easy to prove, even for highly complex chemical compounds. Before, this strand barred the filing of a utility patent for an invention that was immoral or deceptive.
Utility patents protect the functionality of an invention, and design patents protect the appearance of an object. A design patent can protect the entire shape or a portion of it. This type of patent is usually filed by small companies with only a few inventions in their portfolio. Design patents protect only the appearance of an object, but they can also be extended to protect more complex objects. Utility patents protect the functionality of an object, and their term can be extended for 20 years, but the term may be extended if the application process is prolonged.
The most common type of patent is the utility patent. It grants exclusive rights to a specific process, design, or invention for a fixed period. Typically, utility patents are granted for 20 years. However, maintenance fees and term extensions are mandatory, which makes them expensive. Utility patents also prevent others from making, using, and distributing the invention. The process of obtaining a utility patent can take up to two years, but the time can extend if there is an appeal or a rejection.
As previously mentioned, utility patents cover the most common inventions, which are useful, novel, and not-obvious. Similarly, they may cover improvements on existing inventions. A utility patent may cover a new type of wheel for a car or its use. The claims in a utility patent application can be very broad, depending on the nature of the invention. If you have an idea that relates to any of these three categories, you should file a utility patent application.
A design patent is limited in what it can protect. A competitor may use a similar idea, and create a slightly different design. The application process for a design patent is similar to that for a utility patent, but requires a thorough examination, response, and possible reconsideration. Unlike utility patents, design patents do not have a life expectancy of nine to fourteen months. In addition, unlike utility patents, design patents cannot be renewed, so it is important to protect your invention and get a design patent as soon as possible.
If you have a single invention with multiple types of patents, it is possible that it may be eligible for multiple categories. For example, a single design could qualify for design and utility patents, but have distinct ornamental characteristics. A plant patent, on the other hand, could qualify for a design patent. If you have a new design for an egg beater, you can file for design and utility patents separately. A design patent can be a useful tool for making an egg beater.
A design patent is an important type of patent because it protects a non-functional or aesthetic feature of an invention. For example, a computer mouse with an unusual shape may be the subject of a design patent application. Unlike utility patents, which have a very strict legal requirement to be useful, a design patent allows an inventor to keep his or her product completely original for 15 years. A design patent is relatively easy to obtain, but it is also the least sought from the USPTO. Once granted, a design patent protects a unique look, texture, and color of an invention, and it can also prevent others from making, using, or selling that design. Unlike utility patents, design patents have no re-issue fee, and a design patent does not require maintenance fees.
Design patents protect ornamental features of a useful item, such as the shape of a bottle or shoe. Although the design of a product may be protected under a design patent, it is not enough to protect its functionality. A competitor can simply make the same idea look slightly different. Fortunately, applying for a design patent is similar to applying for a utility patent, and the entire process can take nine to fourteen months. Unlike utility patents, design patents do not have renewal rights, so it is important to protect the design of the product you are selling.
A design patent is an industrial design right. For example, an ornamental design on jewelry or a computer icon may be protected under a design patent. Some other examples of objects covered under a design patent include decorative designs on furniture and beverage containers. But most often, design patents protect only one form of a product. If you want to patent the entire product, you must file separate applications for each type of patent.
A design patent lasts for 14 years after it is granted. It does not require maintenance fees and is sustained without question once issued. It protects the shape, appearance, and aesthetic qualities of the product. A design patent does not protect the function or functionality of the product. A design patent cannot protect the same shape or function as a utility patent, but the same basic design. If your design patent is granted, it will remain for 14 years without maintenance fees.
The three types of patents: utility, design, and design. The latter are the most common. Utility patents protect inventions of useful machines, processes, and compositions of matter, while design patents protect ornamental designs. Design patents protect visual qualities of a computer but not its structural components. So a design patent is a good choice when you’re thinking of creating a new product or redesigning an existing one.
A plant patent protects a method of propagation of plants that does not rely on genetic seeds. Moreover, the new variety must be unique and cannot be found in the wild. The USPTO grants plant patents to individuals who discover, create, and asexually reproduce a plant. In order to qualify for a plant patent, the method must be useful to the public, not obvious to a skilled person, and have not been previously known.
A plant patent protects new varieties and species of asexually reproducing plants. Patents for plant varieties usually include drawings and descriptions of the plant’s characteristics. Plant patents last for the same amount of time as utility patents, and they do not require maintenance fees. Applications are published approximately 18 months after filing. Plant patents can last as long as 20 years. They also allow the patent holder to prevent others from producing, using, or selling the new plant variety.
Among the three types of patents, plant patents are the most common. While most people associate patents with plants, bacteria are not considered a plant. Instead, they are protected by the laws of physics and chemistry. A plant patent protects a method, composition, or process that produces a specific result. The process of producing a plant patent is complex, but it is a good starting point for a plant patent application.
The three main types of patents are design, utility, and plant. Each one has a different purpose and rules for protection. Utility patents protect useful inventions, and design patents protect ornamental designs. A plant patent protects a new plant created by an individual. The time-limit for utility patents is 20 years, while plant patents last for 14 years. If your new product is patented, you will enjoy exclusive rights for that specific plant for a certain amount of time.
Utility and plant patents cover processes, inventions, and machines. A utility patent covers new processes, methods, and machines that can improve existing inventions. They are the most common types of patents and make up 90% of all patents. The first two are useful and cover many different technologies. Utility patents can protect anything from a new type of wheel for a car to methods of using it. A plant patent may also cover a new way to treat certain diseases.