Intellectual property is something you create. Protecting this property is essential since it may be difficult to prove that you were the one to come up with the idea.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides you with the option to patent certain types of creations. Before you complete the patent process, though, you should make sure a patent is the right type of protection.
Patent protection types
A patent is a type of intellectual property protection for inventions. You can secure a design patent for protecting designs, a plant patent for protecting plant cultivations or a utility patent, which covers all the other types of patentable inventions. There are specific rules for each type of patent. You must ensure your invention meets all the rules for the type of patent you wish to secure.
Function of patents
A patent can only protect inventions. It will not protect artistic or creative works, words, phrases or service marks. The idea behind a patent is to give you exclusive rights to the idea. You will be able to legally go after anyone trying to use your patent without your permission.
Keep in mind that your patent protection will only last for a specific number of years. Unlike other types of intellectual property protection, there is a time limit within your lifetime on how long you can maintain the protection. In general, the term is 20 years, but this may vary depending on the type of patent.
It is essential to ensure your invention meets patent standards prior to applying. The patent process is complex, so you do not want to waste your time when another intellectual property protection method would be a better fit.