A new, unique design for a manufactured product can be issued a design patent. This type of patent is for the ornamental shape and appearance of something such as a chair, bicycle helmet or pair of sunglasses. A design patent has a term of 14 years.
Utility means the quality of being useful. A utility patent is issued for inventions that have a use or for a new and useful improvement to an existing invention.
Utility patents are issued for things that are made - or the process and methods for how something is made - or the composition or formula of ingredients of something that is made.
Referring to our example of a sock invention. We could patent our invention for the thread coating as a new composition. We could also patent our invention for the adapted sewing machine either as a new process and/or a new improvement to an existing invention.
Composition can refer to a recipe for a food or drink or a formula for something - such as a glue.
Process could be for how to separate hydrogen from water or extract petroleum from plastic for example.
In the United States, as well as other countries, recognition of ownership is given to the first person patents the invention. As a means of resolving the differences in patent laws between countries, a provisional application was devised by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to allow inventors to establish an early filing date for their "utility" inventions.
It is known as a provisional patent application and it allows you to claim a patent pending status.
A provisional application does not guarantee you will be issued a utility patent. A regular patent application must be filed 12 months from the filing date of your provisional application or you will have abandoned your application. There are no exceptions.
The patent pending status allows you a year to test market and/or approach potential licensees before you decide to file for a patent.
Asexual reproduction is defined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office as "the propagation of a plant to multiply the plant without the use of genetic seeds to assure an exact genetic copy of the plant being reproduced."
Examples of invented plants are bug resistant canola, disease resistant tomatoes and temperature resistant roses.
There is no patent and therefore no costs involved to patent. The protection is only as good as the secret is kept secret.
Understanding the types of patents and the requirements for each will help you research for inventions that may be similar to your own.
It will also assist you, along with other tools, to develop and plan your idea so that you can create and patent an invention for profitability and success.