ME 2300: Introduction to Engineering Design

Types of Patents

There are 3 main types of patents:

  1. Utility: for the new and useful process, machine, manufacture, the composition of matter or any new and useful improvement thereof.
  2. Design: appearance of an item is protected. Patent must be an original design for a manufactured item.
  3. Plant: for invented or discovered and asexually reproduced distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, newly found seedlings, and living organisms.

Free Patent Databases

Some patent sites require a tiff image viewer, such as the free AlternaTIFF plug-in. Another option is to convert patents to PDF using pat2pdf.org.