What are the different kinds of patents?

A patent is a property right granted to the creator of a novel design or invention. It provides the inventor with “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” his or her creation within the United States. A patent covers a design or invention for 20 years, beginning from the filing date of the claim with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patents granted in the United States fall into three major groups: utility, plant and design.

Utility Patents

The USPTO issues utility patents to protect developments such as new manufacturing processes, equipment, compositions of matter, products or enhancements made on existing product designs. This is by far the most common type of patent granted in the United States; in recent years, more than 90 percent of patents issued by the USPTO have been utility patents.

The owner of a utility patent, once approved, will have the right to prohibit other people or companies from maliciously using, making, and importing the product. Utility patents are subject to the payment of maintenance fees. There are special times when the twenty-year coverage period can be extended, such as when the patent covers a pharmaceutical product and you can read more about it from https://azbigmedia.com/inventhelp-can-help-turn-your-invention-into-reality/ too.

Design Patents

A design patent guards the “ornamental appearance” of an item, rather than its “utility” or function. In other words, if the item serves a functional purpose and also has a novel shape or form, a design patent will give it the appropriate protection. It is not unusual for an individual or business to get both a utility and a design patent for the same idea. In order to avoid infringing on a design patent, anyone else creating an item with the same function would have to create an adaptation that does not appear “substantially similar to the ordinary observer.”

The design patent is applicable for fourteen years from the date of issue, and, unlike a utility patent, requires no fees to maintain. They are generally much easier to file than utility patents. The application process requires drawing all of the features of the item, including each of the components and how they will work together.

Plant Patents

Plant patents are usually only relevant to agriculturists. This patent type guards particular strains or varieties of plants. The new variety of plant must be distinct from any other, and it must be reproduced asexually. The patent gives the holder the right to bar other persons from reproducing or selling the plant or any of its parts.

As you might expect, plant patents are relatively uncommon. In fact, the average person may be more aware of the colorful botanical drawings often used as part of the patent application than they are of the idea of patenting a plant.


Although there are differences, each of these three patent types holds substantial significance to both the inventor and society at large. Patents offer security to those who take the time to develop new concepts. In turn, the creator is willing to share his or her invention with humanity. Much more on patents and patenting process on https://www.dailypress.com/news/community/spotlight/dp-ugc-article-inventhelp-provides-the-necessary-help-to-nav-1-2019-01-03-story.html.

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