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Know about different types of patents you might use

Patents are a useful tool for many business owners and inventors. When you are granted a patent, it means that other people are forbidden from being able to steal your design. This is important because most business owners and inventors earn a living from these items.

If you are applying for a patent, you must ensure that you have everything together. This can be a challenge in some cases, but making sure that you are ready can help to make the process a bit less stressful.

There are three types of patents that you might need to utilize. Plant patents, design patents and utility patents. Each of these serves a different purpose.

Plant patents have to do with new varieties of plants that people create. There are three main criteria for these plants. One is that they must be able to reproduce asexually, which means through cuttings or similar methods without the use of seeds. The other two are that the plant can't be a tuber propogated plant and that it can't be found in a state that is uncultivated.

Design patents have to do with the external look of items. The shape of an item, the design elements on it and similar factors are covered in these patents.

The utility patent is the most commonly filed patent type. This has to do with the machinery that is used to make products, the process used and similar elements. Utility patents can also cover improvements to existing patents.

If you are applying for a patent, be sure that you are applying for the correct type. Understanding this and the process can help you get your application ready to move through the process.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Patents," accessed June 30, 2017

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