what is a patent?
A patent grants an inventor the legal right to exclude others from making, selling, using or importing an invention. It gives an inventor proprietary ownership of their invention. Generally, granted plant and utility patents last 20 years from the application filing date. Design patents last for either 14 or 15 years from their issue date, depending on when they were filed. U.S. patents are effective within the United States, U.S. territories, and U.S. possessions.
There are three types of patents:
1) Utility patents: A patent that is granted to anyone who invents or discovers a new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof;
2) Design patents: A patent that is granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and
3) Plant patents: A patent granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.