Health & Medicine > Science > Patent Laws for Inventors

Patent Laws for Inventors

Posted on December 26, 2010

Patent laws ensure that inventors obtain the rights to their inventions and innovations. Inventors must figure out what their patent will be in before they attempt to file for one from the  United States Patent and Trademark office. A patent can be obtained in three different areas:

1.) Utility. Inventors may come up with ideas that are in regard to machines or processes. In this type, inventors are seeking the rights to such things as a newly developed machine for a factory or a process that will speed up production at a chemical plant. Wherever the invention is implemented, inventors should obtain this patent to secure their rights to the invention and any profits that may come as a result of those inventions or newly developed processes.

2.) Design. This type is exactly what it sounds like. It entails making sure that each new and original design that is implemented into a business is not recreated elsewhere by a competitor. A design is the face of the product or the company and should be protected. Designs distinguish and separate one company from the next and it is because of this that this type of patent is required for businesses and manufacturers alike.

3.) Plants. Believe it or not, inventors can also place a patent on a plant. If you have reproduced and discovered a new variety of a plant then you can obtain this patent from the US Patent office in addition to the other available patents offered above. There are some limitations for inventors in this area though, as the originality of the plant must be established and ensured before the patent is awarded to the inventors. If the plant already exists or does not coincide with the rules set by the office the application will be denied.

There are certain conditions and limitations associated with each of these above listed patents. If you have questions or concerns about your application for one you should contact the US Patent and Trademark office. A patent should not be confuse with a copyright. A copyright will provide inventors with the rights to prevent any other inventors from producing material in the same way or with the same expression. The copyright does not however, prevent other inventors from copying the idea itself and presenting to the public in a different manner. If you are unsure whether or not you need to obtain a copyright or a patent, you can conduct a simple online search to figure out what your specific situation calls for. Keep in mind that not everything can be patented and some things are already, so make sure you have a solid and original idea before you even apply for one. An application can be done online, in the mail or in person but it does cost money. It should be also noted that the process may be lengthy and is not conducted over night. It is also a good idea for inventors to make sure there will be a market for their idea or product if they are looking to make money from its production.

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