Patent is a territorial protection granted for a new and useful invention. In addition to a US patent one can apply patent protection in other countries too. By filing an international patent application (PCT) one can get protection in several countries.
A US patent gives the inventor a right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale or selling the invention in the USA or importing the invention to the USA. A patent is granted for a limited period of time. As an exchange for getting a patent the inventor agrees to disclose the invention in details as well as the best mode of practicing the invention in the patent application.
There are three different kinds of patents:
Utility patent can be granted to anyone who invents a new and useful process, machine, article, manufacture, composition of matter or any new and useful improvement thereof. A utility patent is usually granted for a period of 20 years as from the filing date. Utility patent application can be non provisional or provisional.
Design patent can be granted to anyone who invents a new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. A design patent is granted for a period of 14 years as from the date of issuance.
Plant patent can be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new plant variety. Tuber-propagated plants are excluded from plant patent protection. For sexually reproduced (by seeds) or tuber-propagated plants one can get Plant Variety Protection.
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