Understanding Patents

Have you ever considered getting a patent for an innovative idea or product? There are different types of patents, so work with a patent attorney.


Utility patents protect the creation of useful products, processes or machines. It provides legal protection for up to 20 years should anyone copy your invention without a licensing agreement with you. Initial filing fees with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office range from $80.00 to $860.00, but that doesn’t include the preliminary search for competitors, examination and maintenance fees which can tack on thousands more. Application processing can take a long time, so start early if you have a patentable product.


If you want to protect an item’s design or aesthetics, not how it is produced, you’ll need a design patent. These patents have a 14-year life and overall cost is less than a utility patent.


In addition to protecting your product from copycats, a patent also can increase your chance of selling your idea.