What type of patents can I file?
The most popular types of applications are: provisional, utility, and design applications. The provisional application is the least expensive. There are very few formalities, which makes it the most appropriate when an application needs to be filed quickly. Provisional applications are not examined and they must be converted into a utility application within 12 months of the filing of the provisional. A utility application protects the functional aspects of an invention. In contrast, design applications protect the ornamental features of the invention. Once granted, utility patents have a twenty year term that begins to run from the day that the utility is filed whereas design patents have a fourteen year term that begins to run from the day the design issues.