David William Jordan

Attorney & Counselor at Law

Basic Patent Facts


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A patent is a grant issued by the federal government that gives inventors the right "to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the U.S. or importing the invention into the U.S."

Three types of patents are available:

  1. Utility patents, which are granted to the inventor or discoverer of any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or compositions of matter, or any new and useful improvement;

  2. Design patents, which are granted on any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and

  3. Plant patents, which are granted on any distinct and new variety of asexually reproduced plant.

Some Patent Facts:

  • A U.S. patent protects your invention in this country only.

  • Design patents are granted for a term of 14 years from the date of the grant.

  • Utility and plant patents are granted for a term that begins on the date of the grant and ends 20 years after the patent was first filed.

  • A patent holder loses exclusive rights to the invention when the term expires or when periodic maintenance fees are not paid.
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