A Non-Provisional Patent grants the right to prevent others from making, selling or using an invention for a period of time. The right is granted by the government to unique inventions. The three types are utility, design, and plants:
- Utility patent: New and useful, functional item. Protection lasts 20 years.
- Design patent: For a non-functional and ornamental item, protects the design or image of a product. Protection lasts 15 years.
- Plant patent: A new plant made by a person. Protection lasts 20 years.
The inventor must be in possession of the invention and must fully disclose to the public in writing a description of the invention and how to make and use it.
A Provisional Patent, which is less complex and less costly to obtain, protects utility inventions before a full (non-provisional) patent for up to 1 year. Allows use of “patent pending.” It can be used to establish an early disclosure date for a non-provisional patent.
More Definitions Related to Patents:
Prosecution of the patent
Describes the interactions involved in the process of the inventor and their representatives filing a patent application and negotiating with the US Patent and Trademark Office to obtain the patent.
Making, using, offering, or selling an invention that is actively patented. Infringement must happen in the U.S. or by importing the infringing product into the U.S.
Federal ”march-in” rights
The government’s right to seize patents they helped to fund the product’s development. As of 10/2021, they have not exercised this right.