different types of patents in management and entrepreneurship

7 Types of Patents for Management and Entrepreneurship

Patents are a form of intellectual property that protect the rights of inventors and innovators. Patents grant the exclusive right to make, use, sell, or import an invention for a limited period of time, usually 20 years. Patents can be a valuable asset for management and entrepreneurship, as they can provide a competitive advantage, generate revenue, attract investment, and foster innovation.

But not all patents are the same. There are different types of patents that cover different aspects of an invention, such as its function, design, or plant variety. In this article, we will explore the different types of patents and how they can be used for management and entrepreneurship.

1. Utility Patents

Utility patents are the most common type of patents, accounting for about 90% of all patent applications in the United States. Utility patents protect the functional aspects of an invention, such as how it works, what it does, or how it is made. Utility patents can cover machines, processes, methods, systems, compositions of matter, or articles of manufacture.

Utility patents are useful for management and entrepreneurship because they can protect the core functionality and technical features of an invention. Utility patents can also cover improvements or modifications to existing inventions, as long as they are novel, useful, and non-obvious.

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2. Design Patents

Design patents protect the ornamental aspects of an invention, such as its shape, appearance, or configuration. Design patents do not cover the functional aspects of an invention, only its aesthetic features. Design patents can cover the design of products, parts, packaging, icons, fonts, or graphical user interfaces.

Design patents are useful for management and entrepreneurship because they can protect the distinctive look and feel of an invention. Design patents can also prevent competitors from copying or imitating the design of an invention, which can enhance its marketability and brand recognition.

3. Plant Patents

Plant patents protect new and distinct varieties of plants that have been invented or discovered and asexually reproduced. Asexual reproduction means that the plant is reproduced by means other than seeds, such as by cuttings, grafting, or tissue culture. Plant patents can cover any type of plant that is not found in nature or that has been genetically modified.

Plant patents are useful for management and entrepreneurship because they can protect the innovation and investment in developing new varieties of plants. Plant patents can also provide exclusive rights to produce and sell the plant or its products, such as seeds, fruits, flowers, or oils.

4. Software Patents

Software patents are a subset of utility patents that protect computer programs or software applications. Software patents can cover the algorithms, data structures, functions, interfaces, or architectures of software. Software patents can also cover software-related inventions that involve hardware components or devices.

Software patents are useful for management and entrepreneurship because they can protect the originality and functionality of software products or services. Software patents can also prevent competitors from copying or infringing on the software features or functionalities.

5. Business Method Patents

Business method patents are another subset of utility patents that protect methods or systems for conducting business activities or operations. Business method patents can cover aspects such as e-commerce, online transactions, advertising, marketing, finance, accounting,
or management.

Business method patents are useful for management and entrepreneurship because they can protect the innovation and efficiency of business processes or models. Business method patents can also provide competitive advantages or revenue streams from licensing or selling the patented methods or systems.

6. Provisional Patents

Provisional patents are not actually patents but rather applications that allow inventors to secure a filing date for their inventions without having to submit a full patent application. Provisional patent applications are simpler and cheaper than regular patent applications and do not require claims or formal drawings. Provisional patent applications expire after 12 months and do not grant any patent rights unless followed by a regular patent application.

Provisional patent applications are useful for management and entrepreneurship because they can provide a temporary protection for inventions while allowing inventors to test the marketability and feasibility of their inventions. Provisional patent applications can also enable inventors to use the term “patent pending” on their inventions to deter potential infringers or attract potential investors.

7. International Patents

International patents are not actually patents but rather applications that allow inventors to seek patent protection in multiple countries or regions with a single application. International patent applications are filed under international treaties such as the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) or the European Patent Convention (EPC). International patent applications do not grant any patent rights but rather facilitate the examination and granting process in each country or region where protection is sought.

International patent applications are useful for management and entrepreneurship because they can reduce the cost and complexity of obtaining patent protection in multiple markets. International patent applications can also extend the time limit for filing national or regional patent applications from 12 months to 30 months from the priority date.

Patents are a powerful tool for management and entrepreneurship, as they can protect the innovation and value of inventions. However, patents are not one-size-fits-all, and there are different types of patents that suit different types of inventions. By understanding the different types of patents and their benefits and limitations, inventors and entrepreneurs can make informed decisions on how to best protect and leverage their inventions.
Different Types of Patents in Management and Entrepreneurship

Patents are a form of intellectual property that grant the owner an exclusive right to exclude others from making, using, or selling their invention or process for a limited period of time. Patents can be a valuable asset for entrepreneurs who want to protect their innovations, gain a competitive advantage, and attract investors. However, not all patents are the same. There are three main types of patents that entrepreneurs should be aware of: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.

Utility patents are the most common type of patent and cover the function of a composition, machine, or process that is new, useful, and non-obvious. For example, a utility patent can protect a new process of making a computer, a new type of computer, a computer part, or a new chemical. Utility patents last for 20 years from the date of filing and require the applicant to provide a clear and detailed description of their invention and how it works. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), utility patents accounted for about 90% of all patents issued in 2020 .

Design patents are another type of patent that cover the ornamental appearance of an article of manufacture that is new, original, and non-obvious. For example, a design patent can protect the shape, color, or pattern of a computer, as long as it is not dictated by its function. Design patents last for 15 years from the date of grant and require the applicant to provide drawings or photographs of their design. Design patents are less common than utility patents, but they can still be useful for entrepreneurs who want to differentiate their products from competitors and prevent copying. According to the USPTO, design patents accounted for about 7% of all patents issued in 2020 .

Plant patents are the third type of patent that cover a new and distinct variety of a plant that is invented or discovered and asexually reproduced. For example, a plant patent can protect a new type of rose that has a unique color or fragrance. Plant patents last for 20 years from the date of filing and require the applicant to provide a description and illustration of their plant variety. Plant patents are very rare compared to utility and design patents, but they can be important for entrepreneurs who are involved in agriculture, biotechnology, or horticulture. According to the USPTO, plant patents accounted for less than 1% of all patents issued in 2020 .

As you can see, there are different types of patents that can suit different types of inventions and businesses. Entrepreneurs should consult with a patent attorney or agent to determine which type of patent is best for their situation and how to apply for it. Patents can be costly and time-consuming to obtain, but they can also provide significant benefits in terms of protection, reputation, and revenue.

References:

http://www.european-patent-office.org/epo/new/cost_analysis_2005_en.pdf

https://ipmall.law.unh.edu/sites/default/files/hosted_resources/lipa/patents/Patent_Act_of_1790.pdf

http://illinoisjltp.com/journal/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/mccall.pdf

https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/us_stat.htm
https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-1-4614-3858-8_416
https://www.fundingcircle.com/us/resources/types-of-patents/
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/patent.asp
https://www.upcounsel.com/types-of-patents

https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/patent-basics/types-patent-applications
https://www.wipo.int/patents/en/

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