Utility patent application in U.S. is filed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and last for up to 20 years. A patent is a type of property right. It gives the patent holder the right, for a limited time, to exclude others from making, using, offering to sell, selling, or importing into the United States the subject matter that is within the scope of protection granted by the patent.
Introduction to Utility Patents
Utility patents, also known as “patents for invention”, are the most common patents. They are issued in connection with new and useful processes, machines, manufactures, compositions of matter, or improvements. Examples of inventions protected by utility patents include computer software, investment strategy, medical equipment, tools, chemical compositions, genetically altered life forms, and improvements.
Owners of utility patents are allowed to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a 20-year period from the date the patent application is filed. Maintenance fees must be paid for this type of patent, making it more expensive than a design patent.
How to Apply for a Utility Patent
In order to be eligible for a utility patent, an invention must be one of the following:
1. A process or method for producing a useful and tangible result, such as computer software;
2. A machine;
3. A manufactured article;
4. A composition of matter; or
5. An improvement of an invention falling within the foregoing categories.
Utility patents can be mechanical, electrical, or chemical. To make sure your invention is new, you need to search all of the earlier developments in the field of the invention. This involves searching U.S. (and sometimes foreign) patents, as well as other publications like scientific and technical journals, to find related inventions.
Under 35 U.S.C.§102 (a), an invention must be “novel” in the sense that it is not known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a publication anywhere. If the invention is patented elsewhere or known to others, there is a statutory bar to giving the inventor a patent. In general, there is a one-year grace period between the time of invention and the time you file for the patent. The grace period may start running as soon as the invention is disclosed to someone else without an expectation of confidentiality.
As the name “utility patent” suggests, the invention must be both useful from a practical standpoint and operable. There is a “beneficial use” strand of the utility requirement, which involves morality, but it has not been applied broadly for years. When applying for a patent, you must be able to show how the invention works in the real world. Fantastic or hypothetical machines, such as a perpetual motion machine, are not patentable.
If you have further inquires, please do not hesitate to contact Tannet at anytime, anywhere by simply visiting Tannet’s website www.tannet-group.net, or calling Hong Kong hotline at 852-27826888 or China hotline at 86-755-82143422, or emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to visit our office situated in 16/F, Taiyangdao Bldg 2020, Dongmen Rd South, Luohu, Shenzhen, China.
Previous：Malaysia Patent Application
Next：Short-term Patent Application in Hong Kong