Starting a small business is an exciting journey. But do you know how to protect your brilliant ideas? Patents are what you need. They grant you the exclusive right to make, use, or sell your invention for a limited time. There is still more to it. There are different types of patents, each with its own unique benefits.This guide explores the world of patents and breaks down the differences between utility, design, and plant patents. By the end, you’ll know which patent is right for your innovation, and be one step closer to securing your hard-earned success..
What is a Patent?
A patent is a type of legal protection for inventions. If you get a patent for your creation, others can’t make, use, or sell it without your permission. It can give you a head start in the market. But not all patents are the same. There are three major types of patents: utility, design, and plant.
- Utility Patents: This is the most popular type of patent. It protects useful and new processes, articles, machines of manufacture, or compositions of matter. Here’s what that means. Processes are ways of doing something. Machines are things with moving parts. Articles of manufacture are things made and compositions of matter are chemical compositions. If you’ve invented any of these things, a utility patent could be for you.
- Design Patents: This type of patent is all about looks. It protects original, new and ornamental designs for a piece of manufactured goods. In other words, it covers how something looks, not how it works. For example, if you’ve designed a new shape for a chair or a unique pattern for fabric, a design patent might be the right choice.
- Plant Patents: This is a special type of patent for anyone who invents or discovers a new type of plant. The plant must be asexually reproduced, meaning it’s reproduced by means other than seeds, like grafting or root cuttings. For example, if you’ve developed a new rose or apple tree type, you might want to consider a plant patent.
Pick the Correct Patent Type to Apply For
If you are unsure about the patent you should apply for, you need to pay close attention to your idea and what it is used for or how it operates.
Is your idea an actual process or does it have more to do with the design, look, or structure of an item? This might seem confusing because certain ideas can be somewhere in between a process and a design or structure.
To help potentially tricky classification issues which complicate or even defeat your patent application, you should strongly consider consulting with intellectual property specialists who have helped clients through the patent application maze.
They would be the ones who are properly qualified to help you through the patent application process by helping you pick which specific patent type to apply for. Look for a service provider that has a strong intellectual property focus. Many of these are also licensed trademark agents