Basics of Patents

What is a patent?

A property right to “exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States.” 35 USC 154

What is patentable subject matter?

  • Processes
  • Machines
  • Articles of manufacture
  • Compositions of matter
  • Improvements of any of the above

What must you have to get a patent?iStock_000032422204Large

  • Must be novel
  • Nonobvious
  • Adequately described or enabled (for one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention)
  • Claimed by the inventor in clear and definite terms

Kinds of patents in the US?

  • Utility
    • A new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement
    • Term is 20 years from earliest priority date (the date at which the first application is filed)
  • Plant
    • A new and distinct, invented or discovered asexually reproduced plant
    • Term is 20 years from earliest priority date (the date at which the first application is filed)
  •  Design
    • New, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture
    • Term is 14 years from the date of patent grant

*** The Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice. Information provided on this website is for educational purposes only.