When it comes to obtaining a patent for your invention, you should know what are the three categories: Plant, Utility, and Design. This article will give you some insight into each one. It is best to understand the distinctions between each type so you can determine which one you may need. If you’re unsure, you can always consult a patent attorney. Let start by defining a patent.

What is a patent

Patents are an exclusive right that is granted to an invention. This is a product, process, or method that is new or improves on an existing solution. In order to obtain a patent, the public must have access to technical information regarding the invention in a patent application.

Types of patent

There are three types of patents – Utility, Design, and Plant. 

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#1. Design patents

If you want to protect the look and feel of your invention, then you should consider filing for a design patent. This type of patent protects the shape, configuration, and surface ornamentation of an object. If you want to file for a design patent, make sure that the design and the object go hand in hand. The design must be so inseparable that the object cannot be made by anyone else. Unlike utility patents, a design patent only protects the appearance of an object, and does not cover any functional features of the item.

For instance, an application for a design patent for a computer mouse would cover the shape of the device rather than its functionality. For the patent to be granted, the product must be original and non-obvious, and must have a distinct design. While the process for obtaining a design patent is similar to that of obtaining a utility patent, the application process is shorter.

A design patent protects the ornamental appearance of a useful item. This can include the shape or material of a bottle or shoe. The document is almost entirely pictures of the design on the useful item. Despite the limited amount of words used, these patents are hard to search. Many software companies use design patents to protect their touchscreen devices and user interfaces.

Utility and design patents protect both the functional and aesthetic aspects of an invention. A utility patent protects the structure and function of a product, while a design patent protects its visual appearance. In some cases, you can combine utility and design patents into a single application. Most practitioners, however, prefer to file separate applications for each. When filing for a design patent, make sure you know exactly what it is you’re protecting.

A design patent is easier to get than a utility one. However, the process of applying for one can take more time. Unlike utility patents, design patents require you to submit clear, multiple-angle images of the invention. A black-and-white photo is an acceptable substitute for drawings in some cases. Design patents last 15 years and do not require maintenance fees. However, design patents have a higher approval rate than utility patents.

A design patent is granted by the USPTO for unique or novel designs. These designs do not have to be functional. Design patents can even protect the shape of computer screens. However, it is important to note that while design patents are easier to obtain than utility patents, they are harder to enforce. Most design patents do not have significant value, and the cost to place one on file is between $1,000 and $2,500.

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#2. Utility patents

The second type of patent, called a utility, protects a new invention. A utility patent is issued when an invention is useful for current use or improves on an existing thing. For example, a laptop is a computer that moves information from an input device to an output device.

Utility patents cover a broad range of technologies. They do not cover the look of an invention, but rather the process of using it. They can also cover improvements to an existing invention. Examples of utility patents include a new type of wheel for a car or new methods of using it. The term “use” is important, since it defines the scope of the patent and what it can cover.

Another category of utility patents is business method patents. The key is to have a business method or a new method of doing something. These methods are tricky to patent and it can be difficult to distinguish them from abstract ideas. Software patents, on the other hand, focus on software. Software patents may cover aspects of computer hardware and software, as well as information systems technology. So if you have an idea that is primarily used by computer, it may be a good idea to patent.

A utility patent is the most common type of patent. It covers products that perform uniquely or provide a useful result. It lasts for 20 years and can be used to sue other companies who copy or steal your idea. Those with a utility patent are the ones most likely to protect their creations. These patents are extremely powerful, but they can be difficult to obtain. In addition to protecting your invention, they can also help boost the economy.

#3.Plant patents

A plant patent can protect the invention of a variety of a plant. Patents for plant varieties are granted when the new variety of plant is distinct, novel, and not already in use in the wild. Patents for plant varieties generally last for 20 years, excluding maintenance fees. Plant patents are beneficial for the inventor because they prevent others from growing the same variety. Moreover, the patentee can exclude competitors from making, selling, or using the plant for a period of 20 years, which is sufficient for a successful commercial endeavor.

The plant patent protects new plants that are grown from cuttings or other methods other than organic farming. Unlike a design patent, this patent does not cover genetically modified plants. Plant patents are more uncommon than other patents, with fewer than 1,200 applications filed each year with the USPTO. Plant patents are also not often granted, since half of the patents issued in 1948 were for different types of roses.

A plant patent protects new varieties of asexually reproduced plants. To apply for a plant patent, you must demonstrate that the plant can reproduce itself through cuttings or grafting’s. During this time, you must file an application for patent protection with the USPTO.

Utility and design patents provide intellectual property protection for new inventions. The former protects products that have a utility, while the latter covers useful designs. Plant patents, on the other hand, protect a variety of plants that reproduce themselves. A utility patent protects the use and function of a composition, while a design patent is a decorative piece of art. The patent is an ideal way to protect a new invention and it lasts up to 20 years.


Generally, utility patents are the most common type of patent. More than 289,700 utility patents were filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2015, while less than one percent of plant patents were approved. A utility patent application consists of an invention’s specification, patent claims, and drawings. These documents define the scope of the patent’s protection. It can be very broad or narrow, depending on its claim language.

Utility patents cover useful inventions and improvements of existing ones. They can cover chemical compositions, manufacturing processes, methods for treating diseases, machines, and more. Utility patents last for 20 years. They are the most common type of patent and cover a wide variety of technologies. Utility patents don’t cover the aesthetic appearance of a product. They can cover new processes and manufacturing techniques, as well as new ways to treat diseases and improve existing products.