Types Of Patents

Types Of Patents And Choosing The Right One For Your Business

Our Patent Lawyers Help Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Scottsdale Area Patent Owners and Seekers

Navigating the world of patent law can be a daunting task for any business, large or small. Understanding the different types of patents and how they apply to your business is crucial for protecting your intellectual property effectively. 

Weiss & Moy, P.C., renowned for expertise in patent law, offers this comprehensive guide. Our patent attorneys, stationed across Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, provide the same level of sophistication as larger firms but at more reasonable fees.

1. Utility Patents: The Foundation of Functional Innovation

Utility patents are instrumental for businesses that innovate new products or processes. This type of patent is ideal for inventions that offer a new way of doing something or provide a new technical solution to a problem.

Application Process: Filing a utility patent involves a comprehensive process where every aspect of the invention is detailed, including its purpose, how it’s different from existing inventions, and how it works. This process usually requires professional patent drawings and a thorough description to ensure that the patent is enforceable.

Key Points Recap:
  • Covers new inventions or improvements in processes, machines, manufacturing, or composition of matter.
  • Requires detailed documentation, including purpose, uniqueness, and functionality.
  • Essential for inventions with a functional aspect.
The scales of justice and a patent law gavel on a judge's desk

2. Design Patents: Safeguarding Aesthetic Originality

Design patents are specific to the aesthetic aspects of a product. If your business’s competitive edge lies in the unique appearance of a product, a design patent is appropriate.

Application Process: The focus here is on visual representation. The application must include drawings or photographs showcasing all aspects of the design. The description is less about function and more about appearance, detailing the shape, pattern, and ornamentation.

Key Points Recap:
  • Protects the appearance, not the function, of an object.
  • Requires visual documentation emphasizing design aspects.
  • Ideal for products where aesthetics is a key differentiator.

3. Plant Patents: Innovations in Botany

Plant patents are granted to those who invent, discover, and asexually reproduce any distinct and new plant variety, including genetically modified plants.

Application Process: In addition to botanical descriptions, the applicant must prove that the plant was asexually reproduced, ensuring it’s genetically identical to the parent plant. This can involve detailed genetic information and cultivation methodology.

Key Points Recap:
  • For new, asexually reproduced plant varieties, including GMOs.
  • Requires detailed botanical and genetic descriptions.
  • Focuses on genetic consistency and uniqueness.

4. Provisional Patents: A Temporary Protective Measure

Provisional patents provide temporary protection, allowing inventors to safely disclose their invention while buying time to file for a full patent.

Application Process: This application is less formal and does not require claims. However, it should provide sufficient detail to prove you were in possession of the invention. This patent becomes public if a related non-provisional patent is granted.

Key Points Recap:
  • Offers temporary (one-year) protection.
  • Less formal, focusing on the basic concept of the invention.
  • Does not require legal claims or become public unless a non-provisional patent is filed.

Choosing the Right Patent for Your Business

Selecting the right type of patent is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the success and protection of your business’s innovations. Here are some key considerations and steps to help you make an informed choice:

Understand Your Invention

First, clearly define what your invention is and what aspect of it needs protection. Is it a new process, a unique design, a novel plant variety, or a combination of these? Understanding the core of your invention helps in determining which patent type aligns best with your needs.

Consider Your Business Goals

Think about your long-term business goals. Are you looking to commercialize your invention quickly, or are you still in the developmental phase? A provisional patent might be ideal for securing an early filing date while you finalize your invention. For a product ready for the market, a utility or design patent might be more appropriate.

Evaluate Market Competition

Assess the competitive landscape. If your product operates in a space with rapid technological advancements, securing a utility patent is crucial. In industries where design and aesthetics are paramount, a design patent could offer a competitive edge.

Seek Professional Advice

Consulting with a patent attorney is invaluable. They can provide insights into the feasibility of obtaining a patent, help navigate the complexities of patent law, and ensure your application aligns with legal requirements.

Budget Considerations

Consider your budget for patent prosecution and maintenance fees. Utility patents, for example, are more expensive and time-consuming to obtain than design patents. Provisional patents offer a cost-effective way to establish an early filing date.

Plan for International Protection

If you plan to expand your business globally, consider international patent protection. Patent laws vary by country, so seeking advice from a patent lawyer experienced in international patent law is critical.

Regular Review and Update

As your business grows and your products evolve, regularly review your patent strategy. What worked at the early stages of your business might need adjustments as you expand or diversify.

Key Points Recap:
  • Assess the core of your invention and align it with the right patent type.
  • Align patent type with your long-term business goals.
  • Consider the competitive landscape in your industry.
  • Consult with an experienced Patent Lawyer for tailored advice.
  • Factor in budget and the potential need for international protection.
  • Regularly review and update your patent strategy as your business evolves.


Identifying the correct Type Of Patent is a critical step in protecting your business’s innovations. With the support of Weiss & Moy, P.C., you can navigate this complex terrain with confidence. Our approach ensures your intellectual property is protected, enhancing the value and security of your business.

To start on the path to patent protection, click here or give our offices a call toll-free at 1-480-994-8888 for a free consultation.

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