Types of Patents – 3 Different Kinds of Patent

A patent provides protection to those inventions that are novel and non-obvious. Patenting your invention gives you the exclusive right to use your technology and prevent others from stealing the same. In addition to that, a patent allows you to generate an additional stream of income through various patent monetization techniques. For those readers who are new to the IP industry, there are different types of patents. Each of these types has its own eligibility, and requirements and serves different purposes. However, an applicant can apply for more than one type of patent for a particular invention. This blog informs readers about the different patent types along with the subsequent requirements.

What are the Types of Patents?

There are basically three different kinds of Patents. The applicant or the inventor must choose the right type of patent to secure his / her invention. Take a look at the different kinds of patents.

Utility Patent Type

This is the most ubiquitous type of patent protection that an applicant seeks. It provides patent protection to inventions such as processes, machines, and the composition of matter. In order to receive utility patent protection, it is crucial that the invention must be new and useful. Let’s understand the components of a utility patent:

  • Process – Any act or way of doing something is referred to as a process, which commonly involves industrial or technological procedures.
  • Composition of Matter – Chemical compositions, such as a blend of materials and substances or new chemical compounds, are covered under composition of matter utility patents.
  • Machine – Anything that is primarily viewed as a machine, such as computers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and so on, is covered by a machine utility patent.

One can also apply for the utility patent when he/she is making changes to any existing process.

Design Patent Type

As its name indicate, a design patent protects the design of the invention. Those who wish to protect the design of their invention can apply for this type of patent. In order to achieve design patent protection, the inventor must ensure that the design is unique and inseparable from already existing patents. The inventor must keep in mind that a design patent will safeguard the appearance of the invention. To protect the functional aspect of the invention, the applicant must apply for utility patent protection.

Plant Patent Type

Plant Patent is another type of patent that an applicant can seek. A plant patent provides protection to new and distinctive plant species. There are certain basic requirements to obtain this patent type. For instance, the plant should not be found in an uncultivated state. Further, the mode of production must be asexual. Asexual reproduction is required for plant patents as confirmation that the patent applicant can replicate the plant.

So, these are the different types of a patent that provides different protection to inventions. The process of getting patent protection begins with filing patent applications. Irrespective of the patent protection you are seeking, it is crucial to fill out a patent application form.

Different Types of Patent Application

Filing a patent application is the first step toward getting patent protection. The applicant needs to file a patent application with the USPTO. With that said, there are two types of the patent application. The inventor must be aware of each type of application before getting started for patent protection.

Provisional Patent Application

If an inventor’s innovation is still in the development stage and they plan to improve it, they can submit for a provisional patent. They will have a year to research and improve their idea before converting the provisional patent into a full patent application.

Non-Provisional Patent Application

The non-provisional patent application kicks off the USPTO’s official examination procedure to see if an invention or discovery qualifies for patent protection. Non-provisional patent applications normally comprise a description and claim of the invention or discovery, drawings, an oath or declaration, and fees, though the material required in the patent application will vary depending on the type of patent requested. A person can also file an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).


Before filing a patent application, it is important for inventors to understand each patent type carefully to know which type of patent will serve the purpose. To protect the functional aspect of the invention, the applicant can choose utility patent protection. On the other hand, if an inventor wants to protect the innovation’s appearance, a design patent will serve the purpose.

Hire PDC for Patent Protection

Patent Drafting Catalyst helps clients in getting patent protection the right way from the beginning. Irrespective of what patent types you are seeking, PDC can help you save time and effort. Getting patent protection is an arduous and complicated task. Also, the applicant needs to have certain techno-legal knowledge when it comes to filing patent applications.

PDC can help you in drafting high-quality patent applications and engaging patent illustration to ensure that your patent application sails smoothly through the patent prosecution process. To know more about us or our services, you can get in touch with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the frequently asked questions related to kinds of patents.

Que – What are the different types of patents?

Ans – There are 3 different patent types which are – Utility Patent, Design Patent, and Plant Patent.

Que – Is copyright a patent?

Ans – No, copyright differs from the patent. A copyright protects the original work of authorship while a patent protects inventions.

Que – How long is a patent?

Ans – The validity of patent protection is 20 years.

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