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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of patent protection recognized in the United States?

In the United States, patent protection is a legal provision that grants exclusive rights to an inventor over their invention. This means that the invention can only be used, manufactured, sold, or imported with the inventor's permission. There are three types of patent protection recognized in the United States: Utility patents, Design patents, and Plant patents. Utility patents are granted for new and useful machines, processes, manufactured articles, matter compositions, and improvements thereof. These patents are typically granted to inventions that have a specific function or use. Design patents, on the other hand, are granted for new, original, and ornamental designs for manufactured articles. These patents protect the aesthetic appearance of an invention, not its functionality. Plant patents are granted for new and distinct plant varieties that can be asexually reproduced. These patents protect the genetic material of the plant and the specific characteristics that make it unique. The United States has shifted its patent priority from the first inventor to the first person to file a patent application for an invention. This means that even if you were the first to invent something, if someone else files a patent application before you, they will be given priority.

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