The patent process can be confusing because of its complexities, but if you have a new invention or idea you want to protect, it’s important to look into getting a patent.
Who can get a patent? You can get a patent if your invention falls into a patentable invention category. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is in charge of patenting items, and its website is where you can search for patents that already exist, track your application once you make it or learn about fees and payments you’ll need to make to get your patent.
Three kinds of patents could be open to your business
There are three types of patents that you can choose from. These include:
- Design patents, which are for those who invent original designs for a manufactured product.
- Plant patents, which are for those who create or discover a new variety of plant.
- Utility patents, which are for those who discover new compositions of matter or a useful process, article, or machine. New improvements may also be patentable.
So, if your company has come up with a new variety of flower and you’re already reproducing it, for example, then you may want to look into getting a plant patent. If you discover a new type of matter, you may want to look into patenting it with a utility patent.
Do you need a patent?
Patients are helpful because they give you the opportunity to determine who can or cannot sell, make or use your item. With a patent, you have strong protections that help you avoid having others steal your work or sell it without getting your permission.
Patents are only meant to be used for new subjects that are “useful,” according to the USPTO. Additionally, you can’t get a patent if you only have a simple idea or suggestion. You need to have a new invention or item that is different from what people have used in the past, and it needs to be described in detail when you make your application. This can be tricky, but if you can put together the right information, then you may have a chance at getting the best protections from U.S. patent law.