Do you need a plant patent? What about a utility patent?

Many people have an idea at some point in their lives that they believe could have significant impacts. You may have had an idea for an invention with which you decided to move forward. Because you know that risks exist for others copying your work or otherwise trying to benefit off your idea, you certainly want to understand your protection options.

When it comes to protecting an original invention, the safeguard you most likely want to put in place is a patent. Of course, different types of patents exist, and the process of obtaining one is not always easy. Still, it pays to gain information on your options in order to determine how you would like to move forward.

What type of patent could you need?

Three types of patents exist, and depending on the nature of your invention, one will likely apply to your situation. Those patents include the following:

  • Plant patent: If you have created a new and unique plant that is asexually reproducible, you may want to look into obtaining a plant patent. This type of patent lasts for 20 years after you have filed the application and prevents the selling, copying or general use by other parties of your plant's key characteristics.
  • Utility patent: If your invention is that of a process, machine or product, a utility patent may suit your needs. After filing an application for this patent, it will offer protection for 20 years, but you have the obligation of paying maintenance fees.
  • Design patent: As the name suggests, this patent covers design elements that create a unique look to a manufactured item. Often, these design elements help distinguish certain items from other similar products.

While these patents may seem straightforward, protecting intellectual property can have complex elements. As a result, it is important to understand what actions can help provide the best protection for your invention.

Having the right help

If you are interested in taking steps to add protections to your intellectual property, you may find it useful to obtain professional help with this matter. A New York attorney experienced in this area of law could provide you with additional information on patent options specific to your inventions, assist you with filing your application and stay by your side in the event that someone infringes on your protections.

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