What is a Utility Patent?

A utility patent protects the way something is used or works. A utility patent is the type of patent application that most people think about when they say that they “have a patent on that.” A utility patent can cover a product or a method for doing something.

The end result of filing a utility patent application is the issuance of a Patent Grant for a product or invention that is deemed to have a new and useful purpose. This can be a process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter or a new and useful improvement to an existing article. Utility Patents allow Patentees to exclude others from the production, usage, offering for sale, selling the invention or importing into the United States any product which is the subject of the Patent or results from the patented technique.

A Utility Patent Grant can last for a period of up to twenty (20) years from the date of the patent application filing. However, maintenance fees must be periodically paid during the term of the Patent in order to prevent the Patent rights from lapsing and being dedicated to the public.