Are there Different Types of Patents?
Yes. The main classifications of patents are as follows:
- Provisional Patent A limited, one-year filing with limited power that can be utilized for certain cases. It is not examined, and will be abandoned after one year unless the inventor takes some steps to covert this to a Utility Patent. It is often used by inventors to raise capital, gauge marketability, and/or to test various embodiments. Although filing a Provisional Patent appears to be easy to the uniformed, special care to maintain priority rights as well as many other important patent considerations need to be strategized.
- Utility Patent
A utility patent protects the function of an invention, and is granted for a twenty-year term for new, useful and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter, business methods or an eligible improvement thereof. This is the most common type of patent protection.
- Design Patent A Design patent protects the overall appearance, or the ornamental nature of an invention. If used appropriately, it can be of value in protecting the aesthetics of new industrial designs. It is granted for fourteen-year protection for any new, original and visible ornamental design of an invention.
- Plant Patent A plant patent is a twenty-year grant for asexually reproduced varieties of distinct or new plants, hybrids and seedlings other than tuber-propagated or existing in an uncultivated state.