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What Is A Utility Patent?

Utility Patent For Services

A utility patent comprises a new, improved, and helpful product or process. “An invention patent is another name for a utility patent, and it forbids individuals or companies from using, selling, or making the new invention without authorization.” This is in accordance with Title 35, Part II, Chapter 10, Subsection 101 of the United States Code.

Most people refer to a utility patent as the most valuable invention; however, the cost of this type of patent can be enormous. For simple inventions, the cost may be a few thousand dollars. Complex ones, on the other hand, can incur heavy expenses.

Types Of Utility Patents

Utility patents have five categories: processes, manufactures, machines, changes in existing ideas, and compositions of matter. However, an invention can have more than one category that will determine its eligibility.

Processes – a process is an action or series of actions, which can be used to solve a problem or create something new.

Manufactures – these cover products made from raw materials, such as fabricated items and consumer goods.

Changes in existing ideas – these cover modifications to an existing process, machine, or product.

Compositions of matter – this covers the combination of different chemical elements, to create a new material or compound.

Apart from utility patents, there are two other types of patents: design patents and plant patents.

What Are The Different Types Of Utility Patent Applications?

Utility Patent Application Type What is it?
Direct filed application The first application for getting the patent
Provisional application Application filed after 1 year of applying.
Continuation application Second application as to know about the first application 
Divisional application  When the USPTO claims that your invention concerns two inventions
Continuation-in-part application Consists of specification of the first application and any new findings

What Are The Basic Requirements Of A Utility Patent?

The fundamental utility patent requirements are that the invention needs to be novel, useful, and non-obvious. In addition, the patent requirements include a written description, enablement, and the best mode for using the invention. The patent application must explain the invention thoroughly, how to use it effectively, and how it was manufactured accurately.

How Does A Utility Patent Work?

The utility patent model safeguards new technical inventions by granting exclusive rights, which will prevent others from exploiting the new inventions without permission from the patent holders.

Before applying for a utility patent, applicants must check to see if their idea already exists by using the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) patent search feature. A utility patent protects the invention from commercial exploitation.

How To Get A Utility Patent?

The process for obtaining a utility patent has specific steps, mentioned below:

Complete the patent application: The utility patent form needs to have an abstract that will give a summary of your invention; in addition, it should also include sketches of your ideas and other embodiments. A declaration must also be given, stating that your invention is unique.
Applying: In this step, the patent application will be submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which is responsible for managing all applications. Afterward, the patent office will consider the application and make a decision on whether to accept or reject it. 
Wait for the feedback of the examiner: The USPTO will appoint an examiner to examine all the applications, making a comparison of the new invention with the previous ones.
Response from USPTO: There will be an approval or denial of the patent application. Sometimes, an objection is also raised, indicating a problem. This means that the application needs to be modified in order to become approved. 
Plan your next move: After receiving the results from the USPTO, you will need to take further steps; for example, filing an appeal or consulting with an experienced legal professional.
Generally, it takes at least 2 to 5 years to get a utility patent. The time taken varies depending on the complexity of the invention and the USPTO’s workload.

How Long Will A Utility Patent Protect Your Invention?

To gain protection, you need to apply to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Once the USPTO grants the utility patent, it will last for a minimum of 20 years. Over time, the holder must pay a certain maintenance fee.

If your invention relates to a drug, additive, or medical device, the applicant will receive an extension of five years. The processing time may vary depending on the patent’s findings.

Accused Of Patent Infringement? Consult The Venture Lawyer!

The patent owner has the right to sue the infringer and file a lawsuit against them because federal law regulates intellectual property and may punish the illegal party. The Venture Lawyer provides legal services for patent registration and infringement, helping businesses protect their products from unauthorized exploitation.

Schedule a free case consultation with a Los Angeles business lawyer if you have questions about the penalties and repercussions of patent infringement.

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