Patenting New Inventions
Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Obtaining a Patent and other Invention topics.
What type of new inventions can be patented?
To patent a new invention, you'll first need to determine if the product or idea you've developed and invented is worthy of the protection. There are some things that simply cannot receive patent protection even if they are novel. First, we'll cover the types of patents:
- A plant patent protects someone's rights who is the first to see the distinctive qualities of a plant and reproduce it asexually.
- A design patent protects the unique look or decorative aspects of an invention. It is based on the essence of appearance.
- A utility patent protects the functional aspects of an invention.
Processes, machines, manufactured items and composition of matter can all be patented. Additionally, improvements to the above can be patented. However, abstract ideas cannot be patented no matter how unique they are. Some novel products that are not considered useful cannot be patented. Literary, dramatic creations, artistic works and pieces of music cannot be patented although they can be copyrighted. A name, slogan or logo of a company or product cannot be patented but these can all be trademarked.
Finally, design patents last for 14 years while utility and plant patents last for 20 years. There are many websites that offer free information on how to patent an idea including Inventhelp.com and uspto.gov. You can also find library resources on the subject. Obtaining a patent can be tricky and time consuming so you'll want to learn all you can before you start.