The more you invest in R&D the better and useful inventions you will create. This will in return increase the patent portfolio of your organization. Customers see you as an ever growing company who comes up with unique solution to your demands. Thus, you get an upper hand over your competitors in the market. But, the inventions you do can also be categorized under different kind of patents. People do the inventions but while filing patent application they don’t know in which category they need to file. This leads to office action in future, so one such type of category is utility patent.
In fact, it is the most sought category in which inventor file application in USPTO. So, if you are also facing confusion regarding the category of your patent, you can clear it here. This article will tell you, what is a utility patent, cost of it, and many more things. So keep reading till end.
What is a Utility Patent?
An intellectual property qualifies to be a utility patent when explains, how the invention works or how an invention is made? Hence, utility patent definition is, “those patents that explain the functional fundamentals of an invention.” Any invention which is a machine, process, or some kind of method, matter composition, etc. comes under examples of utility patents.
Minimum period for which your utility patent can last is 20 years from its filing date. However, to keep it alive, you need to pay maintenance fees to USPTO timely. Also, the period you read here is not binding and can be shorter or longer from 20 years. It depends upon the constraints arising during the prosecution process of your patent. Now you know, what is a utility patent, let’s focus on how to get one. Read the next paragraph.
Also read: Office Action on Patent: Reasons & Solutions
How to get a Utility Patent?
Obtaining the U.S utility patent application is similar like obtaining any other patent. You need to file the utility patent applications with the USPTO. The application that you will be filing must contain the abstracts, drawings, description, claims, and every other thing that describes your invention well.
After you file the application, the examiner at USPTO carries the in-depth examination of application. Once, he gets sure that, claims, evidences, and other contents in application match with USPTO guidelines, you get the patent grant. However, it is an iterative process, as, if it doesn’t meet the need of USPTO, you will receive office action.
In such cases, you need to understand the reason for rejection of your application and then respond to USPTO with office action response application. Here you can either present the facts and claims that disprove the rejection of USPTO. Or if you are not sure of disproving the USPTO rejection reasons, then you simply need to amend, the objections which are raised by USPTO.
This, process keeps on repeating till all your office actions are eliminated. Or even after so many office action responses, you are not able to satisfy the USPTO, you will receive the final office action. Thus, in 2-5 years you can get the grant for your patent.
Clear with the, process of how to file utility patent. Now is the time you should understand, what can different types of utility patents. Yes, you read it right there are also the types of utility patents, let’s read them below.
What are the different types of Utility Patents Applications?
There can be following types of utility patents examples that can arise for you:
- Direct filed Application – It means, you utility patent application is the first filed application for an invention.
- From a provisional application – Many small companies file provisional applications as it keeps the costs down during formation period of company. If you have also filed a provisional application initially for your invention. Then you need to file the utility patent application, in not more than 1 year from of provisional application filing. This is done to assert the filing date of your provisional application as a priority date for the utility patent application.
- Seeking utility patent from a foreign application – Have you acquired a utility patent in a foreign country and want to enforce the same in USA? Then you need to file the application at USPTO within one year of filing the foreign application.
- From a continuation application – If you have filed a first utility patent application, you can also file a second application that asserts a continuous relationship with first application.
- As a divisional application – If you filed a first application in which the USPTO asserted that you were pursuing two or more inventions in the same application, you may be forced to choose one invention to pursue in your first utility patent application. Once you have made a choice during the pendency of the first utility application, you can file a second utility patent application with claims directed to the nonelected invention(s), asserting a continuing relationship with the first application. The second application will have an identical specification to the first application.
Can I license my utility patent to third parties for monetary benefits?
No, it is not obvious, because, a utility patent term, does not gives you the authority to make, use, or sell your invention. Instead, it gives you the right to restrict others from making, selling, or using your invention. So, if you want to monetize your patent by giving its license to others, you must ask your patent attorney to conduct a freedom to operate analysis.
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