There are three main types of U.S. Patent application. Costs of these can vary; please contact us for estimates of costs.
Utility patent application
This is the main type. It typically lasts for 17 years, and is examined by a patent examiner. It confers the legal authority to exclude others from making, using, or selling the claimed invention within the U.S.
Design patent application
This protects a novel design. It is examined, and compared with prior art designs. A design patent typically lasts for 14 years. Formal drawings are required at the time of filing, with six orthogonal views and preferably also a perspective view. A design patent confers the legal authority to exclude others from making, using, or selling the claimed invention within the U.S.
Provisional patent application
This lasts for one year, and gives a priority right for any Utility patent application filed during that one year period. It is not examined. The government filing fee is low, and there are few formalities as compared with a Utility patent application.
More Things to Know
There is a duty of disclosure in Utility and Design patent applications.
There is a time limit of one year in which to file a patent application, from the date of first public use, first sale, first publication, and first offer to sell.
There is no assurance that a patent application will be granted. A patent application can be rejected over the prior art, or for other reasons. An applicant can respond to the first office action with arguments and/or claim changes, for example. An appeal is also possible. The patent examiner has broad authority to grant, or reject, a patent application.
See other sections of this site for more details, or visit the official U.S. Patent Office site, which is at www.uspto.gov.