Types of Patents Entrepreneurs Can Apply and File for
Patents are granted by the government, such as the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office) where a person or company can register their original invention in order to protect it from another party claiming ownership over it.
Patents help to secure one’s work and inventions from being copied and reproduced by others without their okay on it. The rights holder only has the legal authority to sell the invention to others. There are three major types of patents that are granted.
Firstly, there are the utility patents. These are granted which gives protection on how the patented invention is used and works. It prevents the selling, using and importing of the product without the inventor’s consent. Such a patent is given to someone who creates a method, a product, a machine, device, chemical compound or a manufactured item; something that gives a new or useful result.
It is an often occurrence that improvements are made on someone else’s already invented products and patents sought for the improved product. Such patents only provide with authority to reproduce and use the improved invention and not the original invention. It protects the invention in a more secure manner as compared to other types of patents. It lasts up to 20 years and within that time period, no one can legally reproduce the invention without consent. Utility patents are costly and require a more exhaustive time period to acquire.
Another type of patent is the design patent. It is an easily sought patent, acquired cheaply but it is the least sought patent as it gives limited protection to inventors. Such a patent is not for a complete invention; it covers invention of a particular design, and prevents others from using that design in their inventions for a time period. Design patents do not protect the function features of the invention.
They are easy to escape, as a difference in overall appearance of the product would result in a different design. In the US, the time period of a design patent is 14 years, which is expected to be changed in the near future. This means that the inventor would have exclusive rights of their design for 14 years. Any infringement of the patent right of the particular design would result in a lawsuit.
The third type of patent is the plant patent. These patents are issued for invented plants that are produced using asexual means i.e. produced from means other than seeds. However it does not include the tuber plants. It helps the plant inventors to have exclusive rights to such type of plant production. Such a patent also covers the discovery of such a plant by someone and hence that person can gain exclusive rights of the particular type of asexual plantation.
Furthermore, patents can also be reissued to correct errors in an already acquired patent of any type. Reissuance of a patent will not change the time period of the protection provided by the already provided patent, although it may affect the type of coverage granted by the original patent.
If you have any questions about what type of patent you will need to best protect your invention, it is highly suggested to connect with several patent lawyers who can consult with you to best protect your invention with the right patent that fits your needs and budget.
Patent Attorney, Patent Lawyer