What is a Utility Patent – Types of Patents
What is a patent ?
A patent is a property right granted by the U.S. Federal Government to the patent owner that allows the patent owner to legally exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing the patented invention in the United States during the term of the patent. A patent owner may assign his patent to another party, or the patent owner may grant licenses to third parties allowing them to make, use, sell, offer to sell, or import the invention, usually in exchange for financial compensation. Patents can therefore serve as a powerful incentive for innovation.
Which types of patents are available under U.S. Law?
The three types of US patents available are utility patents, plant patents, and design patents.
What is a utility patent?
A utility patent is probably the most common type of patent. A utility patent is normally granted for an invention with unique functional value, such as a machine, article of manufacture, chemical composition, or process. Software inventions and business methods are usually considered processes.
What is a design patent?
A design patent is a type of patent that protects the ornamental or visible shape of an article, but not the functional value of the article. For example, a uniquely shaped auto body or computer icon might qualify for a design patent.
What is a plant patent?
An inventor may be able to obtain a plant patent for certain types of asexually reproduced plants, ie plants created by grafting or cutting.
What are patent claims?
Patent claims are formal, concise statements within a patent application or issued patent that recite and define very precisely the legal scope of the patent. This legal scope defines the patent owner’s right to exclude others from making, using, selling, or offering to sell an invention that includes all the elements of any one claim within an issued patent.
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