What Is a Patent: Basic Guide to Learn About the Rights of an Inventor

What Is a Patent:

Knowing about what is a patent is essential when you have the knack for creating something new. Every person who makes something new and unique deserves credits for it. Besides, no one wants to let others copy their creation and sell it, stating it is their own. This is when the concept of patents come in. Well, patent rights are the property grant to the creator or inventor of it. Such requests are applicable for new, non-obvious, and useful inventions. Moreover, the grant has a validity period of a maximum of 20 years from the date of filing.

Within the validation period, no other person can legally exploit the invention. It means that nobody has the authority of making, selling, or using the creation of their name. Different sources grant such rights to people. In the USA, this authority lies exclusively with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. However, the patent is a territorial concept, and you must find out the granting office depending on where you are living.

If you find the concepts of business and innovation exciting enough, two other fundamental questions may arise in your mind- what are copyrights and what is a trademark? Well, these are all associated terms that go hand-in-hand with a patent.

Patent examples: A better understanding of what is a patent

Examples are a must when you are seeking a proper answer to questions such as what is a patent. Now, there are several examples of such inventions that have patent rights. Such stories are either simple, advanced, or technical. In this section of the article, we will discuss some famous examples that come to the mind when we want to get a more in-depth insight into what is a patent.

Have you read about pilot smart systems, horseshoes or dental titanium screws? Well, these are patent examples of some unique inventions. Presently, over a million people have titanium screws in their mouths. However, the inventor still enjoys the credit license so that no one else can claim the creation as theirs. Most of the times, inventions such as these take place as a solution to some big problem or to help humanity. Let’s check out a few instances that will clear the concept of “what is a patent” in our minds.

Scanner pen

It is a machine that is a scanner but is the size of a pen. With the help of the device, you can transfer data from text directly to the computer. The inventor of this fantastic device was Christer Fåhraeus, and it is popularly known as the C-pen.


A physiotherapist called Ylva Dahlén was disheartened by the condition of children with physical disabilities. They were unable to move, and Ylva did not find it alright. Therefore, she went ahead and created a machine, Hoppolek that helps disabled children to move. While there are several competitors of the device presently, the credit for the concept and original machine lies with Ylva Dahlén only.

Flight time assessment system

Earlier on, it was next to impossible for pilots were unable to gauge the exact aircraft location. After Håkan Lans came up with a device using which pilots are now able to understand the place of aircraft correctly, besides, it helps to decrease flight timings.

Rubber shoes for horses

For times immemorial horses have to wear iron shoes that are heavy and so uncomfortable for the animals. However, the discovery of rubber shoes for horses by Lone Pederson is fantastic. Now, you will find that a lot of horses are wearing lighter rubber shoes instead of the iron ones.

Steel kidneys

Does that sound unbelievable? Well, it is now a prevalent thing in the world of medicine. It was in 1946 that a doctor from Lund, Nils Alwall got a grant. It was to continue his research to develop an effective dialysis machine for people experiencing kidney problems. Later, he came up with steel kidneys, and even later, the invention started selling widely worldwide.

Packaging success

When Erik Wallenberg has just started at Tetra Pak as a laboratory assistant, something magical happened. One day, he got the responsibility of operating the entire laboratory. Moreover, Ruben Rausing, his boss gave him the task of creating new milk cartons. The packaging success was just a matter of time after that.

Breastfeeding shirts

It was a cold autumn day when Mia Seipel was out for a coffee with her little nephew and sister. She saw that her sister was shivering with cold as she had to breastfeed the little boy by lifting her top. Soon, Seipel had an idea and came up with breastfeeding shirts. The product proved to be so useful that there is an entire industry that sells such shirts. While there are several competitors, Mia Seipel remains the one who gets the credit for the concept and invention.

Titanium dental screws

Once, Per-Ingvar Brånemark by chance came across an instrument for growth attachment. The small thing caught his fancy, and she started researching more focusing on it. After a few years, he came up with a titanium screw that now joins teeth to the gum. However, what is a patent in this case? Well, in a medical equipment industry where hundreds of titanium dental screws are manufactured every day, the license of credit for the invention still lies with Per-Ingvar Brånemark.


What are the main types of patent?

Now that you have quite some idea regarding what is a patent, it is time we discuss the types of it too. According to the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office), Code Title 35, there are three main types of patent. They are utility patents, plant patents, and design patents. There is a set of criteria that an invention must pass to be eligible for patent rights. The same must be nonobvious, novel, have an apt description, and the applicant must apply for the claim.

The USPTO usually makes alterations in patents that are undergoing a reissue process. It may change the scope of patent protection in specific ways, and therefore the corrections are necessary. Moreover, the USPTO occasionally issues statutory registrations that offer partial protection that restricts other people from patenting any invention. Let’s check out more details about the three major patent types.

Utility Patents

Also known as invention patents, this is the most common type that we are discussing. A utility patent is applicable for useful and new processes, improvements, machines, matter compositions, and manufacturers. Examples of inventions that usually require a utility patent include investment strategies and computer software. Medical equipment, genetically altered organisms, chemical compositions, and tools are some other examples that fall under this category.

Owners or inventors who are utility patent holders are entitled to the 20-year validation period. Within this period, the person has the authority to legally sue anybody who tries to use or sell the patented invention. Moreover, no other person can copy the plan of the original story and create a replica taking credit for the concept. It is more expensive than a typical design patent because the holder must pay regular maintenance fees for an invention. A Utility Patent indeed offers the broadest protection of rights. However, acquiring the same may take a person over three years at times.

Eligibility criteria:

To be eligible to receive a Utility Patent, the content in the application is highly essential. Traditionally, the content must have operability, beneficial and practical use. If you consider the aspect of operability only, a perfect innovation may prove to be ineligible for the patent if it lacks operational value. Irrespective of whether it comes with bot beneficial and practical uses, the invention will be declared null and void as per patent rules. In this case, practical help or operability of anything refers to the utility of a particular product in the real world.

The aspect of operability in case of Utility Patent is easily assessable in most of the issues. However, assessing the level of the same in the case of chemical inventions is difficult. The primary justification here is that chemical experiments usually undergo practical usage only after they receive patents. Presently, there is no more applicability of benefits or utility in case of deceptive or immoral inventions. In this case, we are referring to dreams, for example, gambling devices.

Design Patent

Such licenses are given regarding new, unique, and elaborate plan that is contained inside or is applicable when something is made. They are more affordable and more comfortable to get in comparison to the utility patent. A plan patent allows the proprietor to reject others from utilizing, selling, or making a protected plan for a long time from the conceding date of the patent. The time-frame for configuration licenses may change sooner rather than later. There are zero upkeep charges related to this sort of patent.

Plant Patents

Plant patents or licenses are given for the revelation or development of new and particular abiogenetically imitating plants. This can incorporate games, mixtures, seedlings, freaks, and products, other than plants found in a crude condition or are potatoes or edible tuber engendered plants. The proprietor of a plant patent may prohibit anyone else from utilizing, selling, or making the plant for as long as 20 years from the documentation date on which the proprietor applies for the patent. Like design licenses, plant licenses need not stay aware of support charge instalments.

Concept of Patent Licensing

It is not very easy to produce and sell a new invention. It requires a strategy, financing, and sometimes product liability protection. You will likewise need to team up with others and work to turn into a merchant to more giant retailers, which can be troublesome. In case you have a patent forthcoming, or you get a patent, you should conclude whether to make and sell your innovation, or permit your privileges to an outsider. It is more expensive to produce than to patent your design.

The individuals who permit the development can gather sovereignties or sell the rights by and large for a precise amount. Moreover, thinking about the budgetary parts of this choice and the danger of assembling, you may likewise need to settle on your choice depends on whether the development fits authorizing and whether you need to invest your energy assembling and advertising. It may also happen that you end up deciding that you prefer investing in the innovation. If you like to take a shot at innovation, permitting your developments is a reliable alternative.

A permit is an arrangement that allows another person to financially utilize or build up your creation for a predefined period. The proprietor of the product is the licensor, and the individual who is getting the permit is the licensee. You will get instalment consequently that might be organized as a solitary time instalment or as proceeding with instalments called royalties.

Licensing the patent is essential too

For starters in the process of licensing your patent, you must list down names of manufacturers who have more effective distribution channels. How do you find such people? The simple way to find suitable manufacturers is by going to different trade shows, looking through magazines and stores, online databases, and more. In the USA, the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office takes a fee and publishes a notice revealing whether your patent is now eligible for a further licensing.

Generally, it would help if you gave the responsibility of drafting the licensing agreement to a very professional property lawyer, it is because such applications must undergo a thorough process of negotiation. An intellectual lawyer will be able to understand the aspects to include in such a document. Some of the most significant elements that must have an explicit mention in licensing applications are upfront payments, potential infringement problems, royalty amounts, and more. In any case, it is up to you whether to go for a non-exclusive license grant or a particular entity. The main question here is whether you want to include a single person in the license or an entire entity.

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