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Utility Patents

A utility patent is very valuable for inventors and companies, as it provides legal protection for inventions and prevents others from copying or using ideas without permission for 20 years after the filing date. 

Common Utility Patent Examples

  • Articles of manufacture, such as products made from specific materials or configurations.
  • Compositions of matter, such as chemical compounds or other substances with specific properties
  • Machines, such as engines, tools, and other mechanical devices
  • Processes, such as methods for manufacturing products or performing a particular task

Utility Patent vs. Design Patent

Unlike design patents, which emphasize aesthetic appeal, utility patents prioritize the practical utility of an invention, delineating a clear distinction in their protective scope. 

For example, while you can’t reinvent a fork or a spoon, you could apply for a design patent for new kinds of tines in the fork. But you’ll need to invent a brand new tool for eating or cooking food to successfully file a utility patent.

To file a utility patent, your invention must be:

  • A new and useful machine, process, or composition of matter
  • A new improvement on an existing machine, process, or composition of matter
  • Non-obvious and original to an expert in the relevant field

In addition to meeting the legal requirements for patentability, a utility patent application must also include detailed drawings and descriptions of the invention, along with claims that define the scope of the invention and its protection. This is the most important part of the utility patent application.

Patent claims clearly and concisely explain what the invention is and how to use it. Further, well-drafted utility patent claims don’t just address the invention in its current form but also protect possible and future updates and variations. There are many reasons why utility patent applications are rejected, but inappropriate claims that fail to prove an invention’s novelty or ineffectively explain how an invention works are among the most common.

As your utility patent attorney, we work closely with you to develop an application strategy that expertly translates the technical intricacies of your invention into a comprehensive utility patent application with detailed claims, examples, and drawings that specifically address your invention’s scope and purpose.

The process starts with an in-depth prior art and utility patent search to ensure the novelty and patentability of your invention. Depending on the type of patent (software patents, chemical compounds, etc), you may consider applying for a patent for the whole invention or file separately for each patentable component. 

Most utility patent applications are rejected, but we are dedicated to overcoming the challenges associated with the patent review process and effectively handling objections and queries from patent examiners. Our expertise in patent law, combined with your technical understanding of invention, are instrumental in successfully steering your utility patent application through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).