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What Are The Different Types Of Patents?

The different types of patents are provisional patents, utility patents, plant patents and design patents.

Provisional Patents (PP)

A provisional patent application (PPA) allows filing without a formal patent claim. It establishes a filing date for you. So, if you have an idea, and if you do not have the time and resources needed for filing a patent, you can go for a provisional patent. This will establish your date of application. Beware though - the actual patent should not differ significantly from the provisional patent description.

Utility Patents

Utility patents are the most common types of patents. They are usually valid for around twenty years, except in the case of drugs, medical devices, etc.

Plant Patents

Plant patents can be taken for the plant varieties which have been asexually reproduced. These patents may include mutants, hybrids, seedlings, etc. They are also valid for around 20 years.

Design Patents

Design patents refer to new original ornamental design for an article to be manufactured. The USPTO definition follows:

A design consists of the visual ornamental characteristics embodied in, or applied to, an article of manufacture. Since a design is manifested in appearance, the subject matter of a design patent application may relate to the configuration or shape of an article, to the surface ornamentation applied to an article, or to the combination of configuration and surface ornamentation. A design for surface ornamentation is inseparable from the article to which it is applied and cannot exist alone. It must be a definite pattern of surface ornamentation, applied to an article of manufacture.

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