Understanding patent laws is a must for New York entrepreneurs seeking to protect their valuable intellectual property. In general, the United States Patent and Trademark office states that patents will fall into one of three categories, which are design, utility and plant. Patent categories are determined based on the type of invention in question.
Plants, such as flowers, shrubs and trees can be patented, whether they are the result of grafting an existing type of plant or you happen to discover a previously unclassified variety. In order for you to patent a plant, it must be shown that the new discovery exhibits at least one distinguishing characteristic that sets it apart from similar plants, and that this difference is not related to conditional deviations (such as changes in the soil). Whether you are a hobbyist or professional breeder, you may be invested in patenting your new discovery.
Utility patents involve the creation of a new process or equipment/machine. Utility patents are chiefly concerned with the functionality of your invention, and accordingly make up the majority of patent applications. A utility patent might be applied to a piece of construction equipment created to cut holes in pieces of concrete, or something like computer software.
Conversely, design patents are described as any enhancement or adornment applied to an existing item or the design for a new product. Designs should be deemed original and must be interconnected to the item they are intended to enhance. For instance, alterations to the visual characteristics of a vehicle would be classed under design. Shape and configuration are also important, as well as the ability of a design to be reproduced. This involves having a process in place that allows you to make an exact replica of the design in question.