A patent is a document that discloses an invention to the public. In exchange for disclosing the invention to the public, the U.S. government grants the inventor rights to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention claimed in the patent for a period of 20 years.

There are a few types of Patents: Utility Patents, Design Patents, and Plant Patents. Utility Patents protect “new and useful” inventions or discoveries, while Design Patents protect “non-functional, ornamental designs”. Plant Patents protect man made genetic variations of plants and their seedlings. Most inventions and discoveries are protected as Utility Patents.

Still not sure if your idea is patentable? Discuss Your Patent Needs with a Professional.