Did you know that there are three primary types of patents? They are: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.
Utility patents are the ones most commonly sought, and what most people are referring to when they say they have “patented” their invention. Utility patents cover things that function in some way to create a new utility. Mechanical devices, electronics, pharmaceuticals, business processes — essentially anything that can be made or fabricated would be appropriate for a utility patent.

Design patents cover the visual design of the invention — that is, the invention’s visual characteristics or ornamental shape / design. If you have an item that has a unique visual appearance (such as a unique shape or design for a telephone, water glass, computer case, etc.), that unique design can be patented by way of a design patent.

Plant patents, as the name implies, cover unique strains of plants — such as trees, flowers, shrubs, and vegetables. Knowing the three types of patents will help you as your chart your course on the invention patent waters.

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How long does a patent last?
A common question is how long do patents last?
In the U.S., utility patents and plant patents are valid for 20 years after their filing date. (This slightly longer change in duration came about in June 1995. Utility patents filed before that date are valid for 17 years from their issue date.) As for the third type of patent, a design patent, this patent type is valid for 14 years from date of issuance.

Each year hundreds of marketable inventions are wasted simply because the inventor did not follow through with his or her great idea. InventHelp will package your idea, provide a patent referral, and submit your idea to companies who want to receive new ideas. InventHelp firm maintains a database of more than 9000 companies which have agreed to confidentially review our clients’ ideas. If you have a new invention idea, https://sites.duke.edu/perspective/2018/11/12/bringing-ideas-to-the-world-with-inventhelp/   is an invention service, that will help you patent and submit your invention ideas to companies.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There are various patent “maintenance fees” imposed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over the lifetime of a patent. And if those fees aren’t paid, a patent could prematurely expire.

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