Discovering that there are different types of patents

Residents of Pennsylvania may want to know more about the different types of patents that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers.

There are six different types of protection offered, according to the USPTO. More information is available in U.S. Code Title 35. This information may be helpful to those with new inventions or who want to know more about patent law.

Utility patent

This is for invention of a process, machine, manufacture or composition that is a new and useful. It mostly excludes others from using, or selling the invention for a period of up to twenty years.

Design patent

This patent is for a new, original and ornamental design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture. The owner of this patent excludes others from using, making or selling the design. If filed before 2015, the patent holds for fourteen years. After that period, fifteen years is applicable.

Plant patent

This is for a new and distinct, invented or discovered asexually reproduced plant. It includes cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings and does not apply to a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. It exclude others from making, using, or selling that plant for a period of up to twenty years.

Reissue patent

Corrects an error in a previous utility, design, or plant patent. It has no effect on the original period of protection from the former patent.

Defensive Publication (DEF)

This is takes the place of a regular utility, design, or plant patent. It offers limited production and defensive protection for a regular utility, design, or plant patent.

Statutory Invention Registration (SIR)

This replaced the Defensive Publication in 1985-86. It offers similar protection.

If you or your business have questions about patent law, it may be smart to consult a trusted attorney with experience and expertise in this form of law. They can search, answer your questions and help protect your interests when it comes to patent law and intellectual properties.