Introduction to Patent Basics

Are you looking for a patent for your invention? Get the basics on patents and how to get one for your invention.

What is a Patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted to an inventor by a government to prevent others from making, using, or selling his or her invention. Patents are granted for a limited period of time, typically 20 years, and are only valid in the country or region in which they are granted. It is important to note that patents only protect the physical embodiment of an invention, not the idea behind it. In order to obtain a patent, an applicant must demonstrate that the invention is new, useful, and non-obvious.

Types of Patents

There are three main types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. Utility patents are the most common type of patent and cover inventions that are new and have a useful purpose. Design patents cover the ornamental or aesthetic design of a product. Plant patents cover asexually reproduced plants that have been newly discovered or developed by the inventor.

If you are not sure which type of patent is right for your invention, then it is best to consult with an agency, such as InventHelp, for invention help and advice.

Before You Apply for a Patent Research

Research whether there is already a similar patent in existence. It is important to determine whether your invention is new and non-obvious. If you find a similar patent, you may need to modify your invention in order to obtain a patent.

Prepare the Patent Application

Prepare the patent application with the help of a patent attorney or agent. The application must include a detailed description of the invention and how it works, as well as drawings or diagrams if necessary. After the application is filed, it will be reviewed by the patent office. If approved, you will be granted a patent. If you need help with inventions, there are professional patent agencies, like InventHelp, that can help you with the patent application process.


If you have an idea for an invention and want to protect it, the first step is to conduct a thorough patent search. This will help you determine if your idea is novel and non-obvious – both of which are necessary for a patent. If you decide to proceed with getting a patent, consult with an attorney or agent who can help prepare the application and guide you through the process.

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