A patent is a legal right given to a person for an invention initially done by him, with the intention that no second person or group of persons copy without the consent of the former. The patent laws from copying original inventions. These encourage people to undertake more designs. A patent refrains someone from copying, selling or using someone’s original invention. This way, only the original inventor takes the credit and controls the market until the patent is valid. A license is usually for twenty years.
1. Utility patents: These are the most common types of patents. It can be given on new inventions like chemical compositions, machine processes, general software programs, medical equipment, any improvements in some technological field, etc.
Criteria for getting a utility patent: Not every invention gets a utility patent, the invention or discovery which is practical can be granted a utility patent. By practicality, it refers to its use in the real world, i.e., it should be practical for use by a general person.
Period: It is generally valid for twenty years.
2. Design patents: These types of patents are agreed to a new, unique, original design of an invention or discovery. It is usually for something which is manufactured uniquely. Obtaining such a patent is relatively cheaper than acquiring a utility patent. The word design here defines the shape and configuration of the object. It should be kept in mind that a design patent will only cover the physical appearance of the object. Its functional part will be covered under a utility patent.
Criteria for obtaining this patent: As mentioned earlier, the configuration of the object should be unique plus it should be inseparable from the purpose.
Period: It is usually valid for fourteen years.
3. Plant patents: This type of licenses is given for the flora, i.e., for plants. It is covered under the Plant Patent Act of 1930. A plant patent protects the plant’s vital characteristics and features from being sold or used by others.
Criteria for this patent: It should be applied within one year of selling or releasing the plant. Also, the plant should not be sexually produced.
Patents are beneficial for the protection of the original work, and it is advisable to get the work patented to avoid any misuse. Also, it should be kept in mind which category of the patent has to be applied. There are cases where more than one license can be obtained for the same object.