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What Is A Patent
A patent is an intellectual property right granted by a Government to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout a specific country or importing the invention into a specific country for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.

In the United States there are three types of patents. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

Utility Patents

In general terms, a Utility Patent protects the way an article is used and works.(35 U.S.C.101)

A Utility Patent is issued for the invention of a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof, it generally permits its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention for a period of up to twenty years from the date of patent application filing, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. Approximately 90% of the patent documents issued by the PTO in recent years have been utility patents.


Design Patents

Simply said, a Design Patent protects the way an article looks.(35 U.S.C. 171)

A Design Patent is issued for a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. A design consists of the visual ornamental characteristics embodied in, or applied to, an article of manufacture. Since a design is manifested in appearance, the subject matter of a design patent application may relate to the configuration or shape of an article, to the surface ornamentation applied to an article, or to the combination of configuration and surface ornamentation. A design for surface ornamentation is inseparable from the article to which it is applied and cannot exist alone. It must be a definite pattern of surface ornamentation, applied to an article of manufacture.  It permits its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling the design for a period of fourteen years from the date of patent grant. Design patents are not subject to the payment of maintenance fees.


Plant Patents

A Plant Patent is issued for a new and distinct, invented or discovered asexually reproduced plant including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state, it permits its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling the plant for a period of up to twenty years from the date of patent application filing. Plant patents are not subject to the payment of maintenance fees.



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