What Is a Utility Patent?
If you are in the field of research & development, or any kind of discovery and invention, then you have definitely come across the phrase “patent”. Simply put, a patent is a legal protection to any kind of inventive work that prevents it from being used without a license. However, there are multiple different kinds of patents – and understanding the difference between them is key to knowing which patent to file, and how to protect your work. Keep reading to know exactly what utility patents are.
When people speak about patents, more often than not, they are referring to a utility patent. Under U.S Law, a utility patent can be defined as a patent that protects the creation of new or improved (and useful) product, process, or machine. This is also known as a “patent for invention.”
What is the use of a utility patent?
This is important, because the utility patents prevents the commercial reuse or sale of the product illegal if done without authorization. It also prevents people from trying to recreate the particular invention.
This is different from design patents and plant patents. A design patent only protects the aesthetic nature of the product – that is to say, it is only applicable to how a product looks and feels. On the other hand, a plant patent us a unique patent specific to asexually reproducing plants.
Utility patents are completely different from this. They protect the functionality of the product, and therefore the intellectual property behind the work put into inventing the product itself. There are also particularly useful because protecting the process is how you can prevent unauthorized reproduction of a product that has the same intended use.
Is it easy to obtain a utility patent?
Not quite. Patent application in itself is an expensive and grueling process, even more for utility patents. It is not enough to simply create an innovative product. For one, until the patent is granted, the responsibility of proving the uniqueness of the product lies on the applicant (especially if anyone chooses to contest the patent application while it is being processed). Moreover, the applicant also has to prove the merit of the product.
A utility patent is only granted to those inventions that have some purpose, or whose use has some kind of meaningful contribution. A unique invention that serves no purpose would not be granted a utility patent. Some common fields in which inventions are granted utility patents include machines, software, chemical compositions, etc.
How does one obtain a utility patent
Given the need for the invention to be both unique and useful, it is first important to do a thorough background search on the invention’s related field. Having a legal team to aid you is a good way to start. It is crucial to not only ensure that your invention is as unique as you assume it to be, but also that there is no existing patent holder who can fight your patent application.
It is also important, while filing, to be as specific as possible in its inventive process, and intended use. That way, it makes it easier for the examiner to fully understand the invention and to also determine if it serves a purpose that is worth patenting.
It is best to get help from a patent attorney while trying to obtain a utility patent. There is a lot of legal process and technical jargon that can be easily missed by someone who does not belong to the legal field. Having aid ensures that the correct parts of your invention and its blueprints are protected, and that there are no loopholes in what the patent covers. Moreover, it also makes it easy for you to protect your patent through the coming years once it is granted.
Finding a competent patent legal team is not difficult. At MDE Patents, we have a qualified set of patent attorneys who are intimately familiar with the patent filing, infringement, and protection process. If you are considering obtaining a patent for your invention, then you can reach out to our team to help you through this long but necessary process!
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Patents and Trademarks: The Process of Intellectual Property If you are looking to register and protect your intellectual property, then it is important to understand