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Know All About Different Types of Patents

Know All About Different Types of Patents


A patent is a legal right granted by a government to an inventor or assignee, giving them exclusive rights to an invention for a limited period of time. It is a form of intellectual property protection that allows inventors to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing their invention without their permission.

To obtain a patent, an inventor must file a patent application with the relevant patent office in their country or region. The application typically includes a detailed description of the invention, along with any necessary drawings or diagrams. The invention must meet certain criteria to be eligible for a patent, such as being novel (new), non-obvious, and having industrial applicability.

Once granted, a patent provides the inventor with the exclusive right to commercially exploit their invention for a specified period, generally 20 years from the filing date of the application.

Types of Patent

Utility patent

Utility patents are one of the three main types of patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The other two types are design patents and plant patents.

A utility patent protects new and useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, or compositions of matter. It grants the patent holder exclusive rights to make, use, sell, or import the invention for a period of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application.

To obtain a utility patent, an inventor must demonstrate that their invention is novel (new), non-obvious, and has utility (usefulness). The invention must also fall within the statutory subject matter, meaning it must not be excluded from patent protection based on certain criteria, such as laws of nature, natural phenomena, abstract ideas, or purely mental processes.

Utility patents cover a wide range of inventions, including technological innovations, methods or processes, new machines, chemical compositions, and improvements to existing inventions. They provide strong protection for inventors and are typically sought for inventions with practical applications and commercial potential.

Design Patent

A design patent is a type of intellectual property protection granted to the ornamental design of a functional item. It protects the visual appearance or aesthetics of a product rather than its utilitarian features or technical aspects. Design patents are intended to safeguard unique and original designs that are non-functional and purely decorative.

Design patents are often used to protect the shape, configuration, surface ornamentation, or pattern of an article. Examples of items that can be eligible for design patent protection include consumer products, furniture, clothing, jewelry, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), and packaging.

To obtain a design patent, an applicant must submit an application to the relevant intellectual property office, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the case of the United States. The application typically includes drawings or illustrations of the design, along with a description of the design and its intended use. It’s important to note that design patents do not protect the underlying functionality or construction of an item, but rather the distinctive visual appearance.

Plant patent

A plant patent is a type of patent that protects new and distinct plant varieties. It grants the owner exclusive rights to propagate, sell, and use the patented plant for a period of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application.

To be eligible for a plant patent, the plant variety must be new, meaning it has not been previously sold, offered for sale, or publicly disclosed, either in the United States or anywhere in the world, for more than one year before the patent application is filed. The plant must also be distinct from any other known varieties, meaning it must have unique characteristics that distinguish it from other plants.

In addition to being new and distinct, the plant variety must also be asexually reproduced, which means it is reproduced by means other than seeds (e.g., through cuttings, grafting, or tissue culture). Varieties that are reproduced by seeds may be eligible for another form of intellectual property protection called a plant variety protection certificate.

To obtain a plant patent, an inventor must file a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application must include a detailed description of the plant variety, along with any necessary drawings or photographs. The USPTO examines the application to determine if the claimed plant variety meets the requirements for patentability.

Types of patent application

Provisional application

A provisional patent application is a type of patent application that provides a simplified and temporary form of patent protection. It is often used by inventors to establish an early filing date for their invention while they continue to develop and refine it. The main purpose of a provisional patent application is to secure a priority or filing date for an invention. By filing a provisional application, inventors can establish an earlier date of invention, which can be crucial in determining priority rights in case of any disputes or conflicts.

Non provisional patent

A non-provisional patent application is a formal filing made with a patent office to seek protection for an invention. It is the standard type of patent application that provides a detailed description of the invention, along with supporting drawings, claims, and any necessary supporting documentation. The purpose of a non-provisional patent application is to seek full patent protection for an invention.

Application for patent addition

An application for a patent addition typically refers to a request to add new subject matter or improvements to an existing patent. It allows the patent holder to expand the scope of their original patent by incorporating additional inventions or developments related to the original invention.


Patent is very complex process, it require lots of knowledge and skills to get done in proper manner.

If you have any doubt regarding this, then you can send your doubts on company suggestion and clear it.

CS Deepa Sharma

Author is a associate member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and apart from that she holds LLB degree and Master in Commerce degree from Rajasthan University. She is having over 5 years of experience as a Practicing Company Secretary. She is well versed with all the matters related to Company Law and ROC matters, RERA , statutory reporting, Compliance Report and Corporate Governance. She is having good exposure in maintaining secretarial records as prescribed under Companies Act, 2013.

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