Every individual has a right to protect their intellectual ideas and property, and also it is important for everyone to understand and respect others rights as well. Therefore, in order to ensure that your idea or invention is not copied or manufactured by any other individual or organization, the government has manifested certain rights that can help you in protecting your intellectual property. However, before you go ahead to patent your invention, the first step that you need to perform is a patent search worldwide to check if your idea is already patented by others. A patent search needs to be carried out by a skilled and experienced patent researcher who performs a thorough search worldwide with the use of specialized tools and techniques.
Like copyrights and trademarks, patents protect a creator’s right to their intellectual property. While copyrights cover the expression of an idea through writing, art or any other kind of work and trademarks protects the ways you promote your business, patent helps in protecting your invention or discovery. There are basically three different kinds of patents according to every individual’s area of work.
• Design patent – this patent helps is used to grant the inventor rights to how an invention actually looks. This is a unique patent because it is only given when the inventor has created something that is new and helps in protecting only the appearance of the invention. Therefore these patents are only associated with aesthetics of the invention and not the process and materials that are used in composing this particular design. His patent usually protects the inventor for a period of fourteen years.
• Utility patent – these patents are awarded when an inventor has designed a new machine or discovered a more useful way of completing a complicated task. This is also given for a new kind of ‘matter’ that has been invented. This basically covers the way an invention works. For example, if your plush toy performs an original function or contains a new sound device, it may be eligible for this kind of patent.
• Plant patent – it grants rights to any individual or organization who has discovered or created a new plant by means of asexual reproduction. These are less common types of patents and are granted to an inventor for a period of twenty years.
Many of the companies begin manufacturing and selling their new products to the marketplace before the patent is actually granted. They use this term patent pending to state that the product is proprietary and that the patent is pending. The only way to use this term patent pending is when your patent application has been filed to the USPTO and is under wraps.