Patents are a type of intellectual property that give a person exclusive rights to an invention. This rate excludes others from using, selling, or making an invention for a specific amount of time. In order to obtain a patent, there is various information that must be turned over by the inventor about the invention, and this information must be disclosed to the public through the patent application. In this article, we want to briefly discuss the different types of patents available.
The Four Types of Patents
Four types of patents cover all sorts of inventions. Listed below are the four and a short description of what each covers
- Plant patents focus on horticulture. When a hybrid plan is created through cuttings and other asexual means, the new plant can receive a patent.
- Utility patents are the common patent that most of us think of when discussing the topic. These are technical documents explaining to the public how a new machine works and how to use it.
- Provisional Patents ask that inventors fill in documents proving that they are in possession of the invention and have figured out how to make it serve the intended purpose. Once filed, it is considered patent pending. The provisional patent holder has one year from filing this provisional patent to file a utility patent without losing their provisional patent.
- Design patents offer protection for a decorative or cosmetic design that is placed on a useful item. These could be the design of an athletic shoe or an image on food packaging. These are difficult to search because the patent is mostly drawings and illustrations. Software companies are working to remedy this issue.
Advancing Technology and Patents
New technology is contributing to some confusion and redefining of the patent process. New areas of innovation are becoming more and more prevalent. This leads to more patent applications and a change in the type of patents sought. Inventors want to protect their new technology in all possible ways.
With an increase in e-commerce, it is easier for online companies to sell products that infringe on patents. The patent holder may find themselves in a difficult-to-defend position.
Plants that are genetically modified need patents, but a typical plant patent does not apply. Other areas that are pushing the boundaries of patent law are software that is developed over the internet as well as the technology behind genetic engineering.
Using More Than one Patent Type to Protect Your Invention
To ensure that your invention is thoroughly protected, you should register for multiple patents. For instance, if you designed a lampshade that was also a speaker, you might patent the technology as well as the shape of the lamp. A strong patent may make your product more marketable and more challenging to reproduce legally.
Patent Advice for Inventors
Inventors need to protect their projects, and a patent is the best way to do that. If you have invented something of value, contact Walker Law. A patent lawyer can help you patent your invention in the most secure way possible. We can help you explore the best options to most fully protect your product. Reach out today, and we will navigate the patent process for you.