A patent is a legal document that gives an inventor the exclusive right to produce, sell, or use an invention for a certain period. If a business creates something new or innovative, it’s possible that it may be eligible for patent protection. Patents are an excellent way for businesses to protect their intellectual property and gain a competitive advantage. However, businesses must understand that not all patents are the same, and each one can offer different levels of protection. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different types of patents and help you determine which one is right for your business.
Utility patents are among the most common types of patents. They are granted for new, useful, and non-obvious inventions and processes. Utility patents protect the way an invention is used and how it works. For example, if your business develops a new software application, you may be eligible for a utility patent to protect how the application runs, its functions, and its features.
Design patents protect the ornamental design or appearance of an object. They are granted for new and original designs of manufactured articles, such as furniture or clothing. The design patent does not protect how the object is used or functions. Instead, it protects the non-functional, ornamental design. These patents are relatively easy to obtain but offer limited protection.
Plant patents protect new and distinct varieties of asexually reproduced plants. The patent holder has the exclusive right to propagate, sell, and use the plant for 20 years from the patent filing date. This type of patent is ideal for businesses in the horticultural industry. However, this does not apply to found or discovered plants but to new plants created and reproduced by the inventor.
A provisional patent is a placeholder for a utility or design patent application. It gives the inventor 12 months to file a complete patent application. A provisional patent is a useful option for businesses that need to establish an early filing date but don’t have all the details worked out yet.
International patents protect intellectual property in multiple countries. The patent application process is different in each country, and businesses must file separate applications in each country where they seek protection. The cost of obtaining international patents can be higher than for obtaining patents in a single country. However, international patents are useful for businesses that operate globally and want to protect their intellectual property in multiple countries. In conclusion, patents offer businesses an essential means of safeguarding their intellectual property. Different types of patents are suited for different types of inventions and businesses. Understanding the types of patents available is a crucial first step in determining which one is right for your business. Before filing a patent application, make sure to consult with a professional with patent law services who can advise you on the best course of action. By obtaining a patent, businesses can defend their intellectual property rights and gain a competitive advantage in today’s fast-paced marketplace.