What is a Patent?
A patent is a right granted to an inventor by the federal government, giving the inventor the right, for a limited time, to exclude others from making, using, selling or importing the patented invention. In the United States, there are three types of patents:
- Utility patents protect devices, formulas, processes and methods.
- Design patents protect the non-functional appearance or design of an object of manufacture.
- Plant patents protect asexually propagated plant varieties.
For any invention to be patentable, it must be useful, novel, and not obvious to a person who is skilled in the field of the invention.