Determining the type of patent to apply for

| Jan 14, 2021 | Patent Law |

Individuals and businesses in New Jersey and elsewhere are constantly evolving and becoming more innovative. With that can come new ideas, inventions and even discoveries. These not only ease business operations or create a service or product for the business; it can be a very profitable situation. Thus, it is important that an idea, invention, discovery or the like is protected. A patent can provide just that; however, based on certain factors, a specific type of patent should be considered.

Types of patents

There are three types of patents one can consider getting. While one type may seem more ideal and logical, it is possible for an invention or discovery to have more than one type of patent available for it. For example, an inventor may want to protect both a functional feature of the invention as well as the design of it. This is better understood by explaining the three types of patents, which include utility patents, design patents and plant patents.

Utility patents

This is the most common type of patent, as it covers the processes, compositions of matter, machines and manufacturers that are new or used specifically in the matter. A utility patent is also beneficial in situations where new or useful improvements are made to an existing process and the like.

Design patents

The design of an object is defined as being the surface ornament of the object. This can include the shape or configuration of the object. There are certain requirements for this type of patent, which includes the object and its design being inseparable. While the two must be inseparable, the design patent will only protect the object appearance and not the function or structural features of the object. That is the purpose of a utility patent, and may necessitate getting both types of patents for the object.

Plant patents

This type of patent is available to protect new and distinctive plants. There are certain requirements for this patent type. This includes it not being a tuber propagated plan, the plant is not found in an uncultivated state and the plant can be asexually reproduced. Proof of such is required when filing for this type of patent.

Navigating the patent process can be confusing and complex and goes beyond deciding which patent to get. Thus, it is important that one is well informed on the process, getting assistance when necessary at any point in the process.


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