It is important to know that there are different types of patents for a wide variety of inventions. The types of patents are utility, design and plant patents. All of these serve a different purpose based on the invention you have created.
- Utility patents are the most typical and thought of patent which include machines, processes or other types of technology.
- Design patents are most commonly pictures or drawings of a design which help to provide a visual representation or shape for the technology.
- Plant patents usually last 17 years and are scientific experiments in creating new plants.
The process of obtaining a patent can be challenging so it is advisable to seek professional advice. This can help you save time and money long term. If you’d like professional help, an Idaho patent attorney would be happy to assist you with any questions and advice you may need.
Process of Obtaining a Patent
- Patentable subject matter (easiest)
- Novelty (more difficult)
- Non-obviousness (extremely difficult)
Requirements for a Patent
In order to apply for a patent, there are requirements to be met. These requirements are subject matter eligibility, utility, novelty and non-obviousness. Each area will be discussed more in detail below.
Subject matter eligibility
This requirement is to make sure that your invention isn’t an abstract idea. It is to make sure that the invention is tangible and not just a concept. To ensure this requirement is met, be sure that your idea is something that is able to be used and tangible. An example of this is the difference between the behavior of an organism that has been genetically engineered versus an organism that is found in nature.
Utility is an essential requirement because the invention needs to be useful. The invention needs to be able to serve its purpose for what it was made to do. If the item is not able to be used, then consumers will be less inclined to purchase it and that will hurt your business.
Some synonyms for the word novelty are new, original and unique. In other words, your invention needs to be different from anything else in its category. This also encourages innovation from the inventor while helping consumers have different options to choose from.
This is the final step of having your invention patented and the most difficult step. The invention needs to be something that could not have been easily invented. Simply stated, the invention should not be obvious or based on a previous invention.
As you are considering applying for a patent, reflect on the following information as you proceed with your patent application.
- Once the patent expires, the inventor must teach it to the public.
- It’s important to have your invention function, but it must also fulfill all the requirements to have exclusive rights to your invention.
- Make sure your invention is protected with a patent and consider all of the ways you can patent your invention. If done methodically, you can use a few patents to cover your bases for your invention