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A patent is the granting of a right to intellectual property by the federal government, making the inventor the only one with the right to make, sell or use the invention for a given period of time. In the United States, patents are granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. There are several criteria that must be met in order for a patent to be granted. The invention must be “novel”, or different from similar inventions, and it must have some type of beneficial use.

Utility Patents

Utility patents are the most common type of patent. Utility patents cover various machines, processes, and chemicals. These categories can be broad and may include many things. A patent on some computer software is an example of a utility patent. Utility patents are good for twenty years.

Design Patents

Design patents are granted for various types of product designs. For example, Calvin Klein jeans would require a design patent if the designer wanted to be the exclusive manufacturer and seller of these jeans. A design patent is not for a product that is functional; instead, it is for products that are for decoration, ornamentation, or similar. Design patents are good for fourteen years.

Plant Patents

Plant patents are for, you guessed it, plants. This type of patent is usually only needed by those who design new agricultural plant products or who are doing research. For example, a plant patent may cover something like a new method of making a plant reproduce. The plant patent protects the method from being used by other individuals and is good for twenty years.

Call to Schedule a Consultation With a California Patent Law Attorney Today

If you need to learn more about the types of available patents, call to schedule a consultation with a California patent law attorney today. The legal professionals at the Law Offices of Dorian Cartwright are here to help you choose the patent that meets your needs. We serve the cities of San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the surrounding communities. Check out our web page at or give us a call at 1-800-810-8030 and let us answer your questions about patents today.

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