What is a patent and what are different types of patents

While developing PatentSearch.Net I went through a lot of literature and documents. A lot of this was to answer basic questions about patents. Following list contains some of the questions I had to answer before I could develop the library. This was more of a requirement gathering sessions.

  • What is a patent?
  • What are different type of patents?
  • What can be patented under different types of patents?
  • What kind of information needs to be supplied to USPTO or any other government agency where patent is filed?
  • What is meaning of different technical terms like Related U.S Patent Documents, Foreign Application Priority Data, Other References, etc. and what kind of data is contained in these categories of information?
  • What is difference between patent application and issued patent data?

There are a lot of other questions that I had to answer. Above list covers lot of basics of patent. When I started working on this library, the first question that I had to answer was, what are different type of patents out there. Once you answer this question, only then you know what all other information you need to provide to file a patent.

In this post I will just answer the question What are different type of patents? As per United States Patent and trademark Office documents, there are following type of application types that you can file.

  • Utility
  • Reissue
  • Design
  • Defensive Publication
  • Plant
  • Statutory Invention Registration

The three main types that are of great importance are Utility, Design and Plant. When you have to file a patent your application files under one of the categories. As per USPTO official document, these three patent types are defined as follows.

  • Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof;
  • Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture;
  • Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

In subsequent posts I will try to explain what these different patents could mean


Information provided in this post is for just informational purposes only. For all legal purposes please consult your IP attorney or consult USPTO documents

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