What Are the Most Common Types of Patents?

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Under the Patent Law of the United States, there are three types of patents that are recognized. Each type protects a specific type of discovery or invention and has different eligibility requirements. For more information, read on to learn how a seasoned New Jersey trademark lawyer can help you obtain patent protection for your discovery or invention.

What are the different types of patents under U.S. Patent Law?

The three types of patents are utility, design, and plant. For one, a utility patent is the most common type, and it is used for the invention of a process, machine, manufacture, or composition that is new and useful. This can also be obtained for useful and new improvement to the already existing composition of a process, machine, manufacture, or composition. Notably, this patent excludes others from using or selling the invention for up to 20 years.

Secondly, a design patent may be obtained for a new, original, or ornamental design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture. Importantly, even though the design must be inseparable from the object, this patent only protects the design. So, to protect the structural or functional features of the object, you must apply for a utility patent. A design patent holds for 15 years.

And lastly, a plant patent may be needed for a new, distinct, invented, discovered, or asexually-produced plant. It is important to note that this patent excludes tuber propagated plants and plants that are found in an uncultivated state. A plant patent holds for up to 20 years.

How can I obtain patent protection under U.S. Patent Law?

To obtain patent protection, you must file a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). With this, the options are a provisional and non-provisional patent application.

A provisional patent application is best if you want to protect your invention from being patented by another party but still need more time to determine its specifics. After filing, you have one year to file the corresponding non-provisional patent application.

And with the non-provisional patent application, the USPTO will start its official examination phase. In this application, you will have to include a claim and description of your discovery or invention, an oath or declaration, relevant drawings, and the required fee for the USPTO to determine its eligibility.

If you require further information on patent protection, do not hesitate in reaching out to a talented Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer today.


Whether you’re looking to register a copyright or trademark, are facing a dispute, or otherwise require the assistance of an experienced New Jersey intellectual property lawyer, you’re in the right place. Contact Ingber Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation with our skilled and dedicated legal team.