Patents stand as a testament to human ingenuity, protecting new inventions and designs. There are three main types of patents – utility, design, and plant patents – each catering to specific categories of innovation. Knowing which type of patent to apply for is crucial, as it ensures the appropriate protection for an inventor’s work. Understanding which type applies to your invention idea is crucial, and agencies like InventHelp can help identify the right patent category and navigate the complex application process.

Utility Patents: Protecting Functionality

Utility patents are the most common type of patent filed. They cover new inventions or functional improvements of existing products, processes, machines, compositions of matter (such as chemical formulas), or any new and useful improvement thereof. To qualify for a utility patent, the invention must be novel, non-obvious, and useful.

These patents are incredibly valuable in industries where technological advancements are rapid and competition is fierce. They provide inventors with a period of exclusivity, typically 20 years from the application date, enabling them to commercialize their inventions without immediate concern of a direct competition.

Design Patents: Shielding Aesthetics

Design patents, on the other hand, protect the ornamental appearance of an item rather than its function. This includes the shape, configuration, or surface ornamentation that is unique to the product. Design patents are critical for industries where the visual appeal of a product can be a significant factor in consumer preference, such as fashion, furniture, or consumer electronics.

The term of a design patent is 15 years from the grant date, providing ample time for creators to capitalize on the aesthetic appeal of their designs. By safeguarding the distinctive look of a product, design patents ensure that the visual identity of innovators is not diluted by copycats.

Plant Patents: Securing Horticultural Innovations

Plant patents are less common but are of crucial importance in the field of botany and agriculture. These patents are awarded to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant. The asexual reproduction requirement – propagating the plant by means other than seeds – ensures that the patented plant remains genetically identical to the original specimen.

Holders of plant patents enjoy similar exclusive rights as those granted by utility patents, typically for a duration of 20 years. This type of patent encourages botanists, growers, and horticultural companies to continue developing new plant varieties that can enhance food supply, aesthetic diversity, or even environmental sustainability.

The Significance of Choosing the Right Patent Type

Choosing the right type of patent is essential, as each type provides a different scope of protection. Making the wrong choice can leave an invention inadequately protected or lead to the rejection of a patent application – a potentially costly mistake.

The Role of InventHelp in the Patent Process

For most inventors, navigating the intricacies of patent law can be quite challenging. Here is how InventHelp can assist you. They provide assistance in identifying the most suitable type of patent and guide through all stages of the patent process. From initial patent searches and opinion to preparing and submitting the patent application, having professional assistance can increase the chances of successful patent grant and ultimately, the commercial success of the invention.

InventHelp, and similar agencies, play a pivotal role not just in securing patents, but in advising inventors on strategies for bringing their protected invention to market.


Each type of patent plays a vital role in nurturing innovation and offering inventors a chance to secure their intellectual property. Whether it’s the functionality of a new machine, the unique design of a consumer product, or the characteristics of a new rose variety, obtaining the right type of patent is a must for anyone looking to protect and profit from their creativity. Assistance from expert agencies like InventHelp can be crucial, making the complex process of patenting simpler and more accessible to all kinds of inventors.