IT’S OFFICIAL! The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has accepted our application and notified us that the indicators have officially been moved into pending status.
A patent is a property right that the government grants to inventors to forbid others from making or using an invention for a limited period of time (usually 20 years). If someone does steal your invention, the patent grants you the right to sue the guilty party.
To get a patent, your idea must be patentable, which requires that your invention is fully developed and that no one else has already patented it, and then file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which can be a complex process depending on patent type (utility, design, plant, or software patent).
There are four main types of patents:
- A utility patent protects inventions that have a specific function. This is the most common type of patent and serves as the focus for most discussions about patents.
- A design patent protects non-functional parts of an item such as a unique shape or other aesthetic qualities.
- A plant patent protects plants, such as flowers or vegetables, that an inventor has created or discovered and then reproduced.
- A software patent protects software.
A patent protects an invention from being stolen. If the invention is stolen and another party begins to sell it, then the patent holder can sue for patent infringement.