What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive legal right which is granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to the inventors who file patent application for their invention.

This proprietary right, if granted and obtained by an inventor, lasts for 14 to 20 years, precluding anyone else from using, offering for sale, manufacturing and copying.

The point to be noted here is that a patent protects only that is patentable; it doesn’t protect ideas, but an invention and its methods. In other words, it is a temporary monopoly which is given to an inventor in exchange for the detailed descriptions the invention.

Types of Patents

While there are six types of patents granted by the USPTO, the utility, design and plant patents are the three main and most sought-after patents that inventors apply for.

The utility patents are issued for inventions like processes, machines and chemical or biological compositions of matter; the design patents are issued for the ornamental or aesthetic design of articles of manufacture; while the plant patents are granted to the inventors who have discovered a new plant through asexual reproduction.

Out of all these patents, the utility patents are the most granted patents which give protection for 20-years, while the design and plant patents last for 14 to 20 years.

Why Patents Matter?

An invention patent holds utmost importance only if you want to vie with others by virtue of new technologies and innovations.

Ironically, today there are just a few who want to use their invention for the human goods, rather they invent something new and innovative just to make more money.

Anyways, having your invention patented first before going into the market not only saves your invention from the product poachers, but the timely patent attainment brings five main benefits to the inventors.

  1. Patents facilitate sophisticated entrepreneurs and businesses to use aggressive control over their markets.
  2. Patents are useful in giving a tangible measure of research and product development output.
  3. Patents give protection to an invention from unexpectedly leaving the business.
  4. Patents provide business a protective negotiating chip to exchange.
  5. Patents have time-bound monopolies for their owners.