What Is a Utility Patent? Protecting New Inventions and Improvements to Existing Ideas

Apr 102019

What Is a Utility Patent?

Patenting your ideas is always a great thought and initiative as it adds value to your business by protecting your unique ideas which in turn saves your money, time and efforts. One thing that should be kept in mind here is that patenting is not always protecting your ideas, it is more about protecting something that is in practice and can be touched and feel. Utility Patent is not the only patenting facility available to a firm or a startup and you must consult a competent Patent Attorney in India to know what exactly does it protects. Before knowing more about Utility Patent, we must know what other types of Patents are.

Types of Patents

Types of Patents

There are basically three types of Patents usually issued by most of the countries and it is up to you, which patent suits your business and your ideas. The filing process for all three patents is slightly different and so are the fee structures. The three patents are Utility Patents, Design Patents and the Plant Patents. We will discuss Utility Patents in the article in detail later, we briefly discuss the other two patents.

 

1) Design Patents

 

Design Patents as the name suggests, protects the design and appearance of your products thus preventing its illegal selling, manufacturing and usage. The patent is obviously done for its looks and aesthetics and not for its functions.

 

2) Plant Patents

 

Plant Patents are done for the unique species of plants which are discovered and are asexually reproduced. It is very difficult to get patents for Plants as the discoveries of the plants are extremely rare. The strict rule for the Plant Patent is that it should have a minimum lifespan of 20 years or more.

What is a Utility Patent

Now since we have discussed the two major types of Patents, we must now come to the main subject of this topic which is the Utility Patent. If you want to protect the utility or functional aspects of your invention, you must go with the Utility Patent. 90% of firms who go for patenting, go for Utility Patents and no wonder why it is the most common type of Patents in use.

Although the definitions are broad, Utility patents cover process, methods, compositions, and anything that is manufactured and has a specific and useful function.

 

How to file a Utility Patent

Now when you have decided to go for a utility patent to protect the design or utility of your invention and idea, you must know how to file one. Filing Utility Patent is not an easy procedure and is very lengthy as it contains many formalities and documentation. The forms have multiple sections which require you to provide intense information about your idea or invention. Also, if the product is complex, the Patent Attorney in India might even ask you to draw a diagram to explain everything properly.

 

How to get a Utility Patent

Before filing the utility patent, you must conduct a search to find out if anyone before you have patented a similar design. If yes, you are not allowed to file a utility patent on that design as it is already taken by somebody. The proper research is a must because if you start the process, you have to bear the cost of the patenting process that is involved and if your idea is found to be patented by somebody else, your cost amount will be lost. So this precaution must always be taken. Generally, the life of utility patent is of 20 years. In united states, the patent term may get extended in order to restore a time lost to get the regulatory approval of the pharmaceutical product.

 

We have discussed everything about Utility Patents, its cost, tenure and the process involved in filing. Since Utility Patenting is the most widely used patenting facility, you might have to spend extra time and efforts other than the fee to get it done.

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Ketana Babaria Ms. Ketana Babaria, an advocate and registered patent Agent M. Sc. LL.B PGO-IBM, is of 20 years experience in the field of IPR, worked for generics and giants now leads a team, handling all aspects of patent and legal matters related to the pharmaceutical & non-pharmaceutical.

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