Utility Patents

WHAT IS A UTILITY PATENT?

"Patent that covers the creation of a new or improved – and useful – product, process or machine. Also known as a “patent for invention,” this kind of patent prohibits other individuals or companies from making, using or selling the invention without authorization."

Utility patents are issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and can last for up to 20 years and the patent holder may have to pay maintenance fees over that time period.

The Rapacke Law Group has the experience to file patents for a broad range of inventions, including:

  • Machines (e.g. something composed of moving parts, such as stereos or computers)
  • Articles of manufacture (e.g. brooms, candleholders)
  • Processes (e.g. business processes, software)
  • Compositions of matter (e.g. pharmaceuticals)

A product protected by a utility patent may also obtain a design patent, which safeguards its unique visual elements. To get a utility patent, however, the invention must be useful and serve some practical purpose, not just decoration.

A Utility patent is the most common type of patent protection, and is typically what people mean when they discuss patents. Utility patents apply to new and useful inventions that do something or any new and useful improvement. Utility patents are divided into three basic types: mechanical, electrical, and chemical.

The main goal of a utility patent is that to describe what the invention is and claim the structure, composition, or operation of how it works. This part of the utility patent is called a 'specification' and it usually includes illustration drawings and may also include descriptions of different versions, or embodiments, of the invention.

For more on the Utility Patent process, watch the video below: