Many people may not realize the importance to getting a patent when it comes to protecting their intellectual property. Without a patent, you may find that you lost out on your invention to someone else.
There are three types of patents, with each serving a specific purpose. These patents include:
— Utility patents: This is the most common type of patent and it may be granted to anyone who discovers or invents any new, useful product, article of manufacture, machine or useful improvement. In this definition, “useful” is the key word. If the invention is not considered useful, a patent will not be granted.
— Design patents: This patent can be granted to anyone who invents an original and ornamental design for a manufactured article.
— Plant patents: This patent may be granted to the person who discovers or invents a new variety of plant.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office grants property rights to the inventor through a patent. A new patent is usually good for 20 years. While the patent is issued by the USPTO, it is up the person who received the patent to enforce it. The USPTO does not help patent holders with enforcement.
An attorney who is experienced in intellectual property matters can help you if you believe your patent is being infringed upon. You have a right to protect your intellectual property, even if it means taking someone to court. A patent attorney can help you through each step in the process and ensure that the application complies with the applicable regulations and statutes. Once the application is filed, you will have an automatic patent pending status that will protect your invention.
Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office, “General information concerning patents,” accessed June 30, 2017