If a Nashville business includes new inventions or improvements to existing ones, protecting that work needs to take priority. In this situation, a company’s portfolio of intellectual property should more than likely need at least one patent. Before applying for one, it will be necessary to determine whether a particular product qualifies for this legal protection. 

A product could qualify under one of three different types of patents: A design patent, a utility patent or a plant patent. The most commonly applied for and granted fall under the utility patent category. Machines, methods or processes, and improvements to an existing invention are included in this type of patent, along with a composition of matter or article of manufacture. To receive a utility patent, the idea must not be obvious; rather, it must be useful and novel.

Obviously, plant patents cover new plants. Design patents can’t be obvious and must be novel, but they do not necessarily have to be useful. In some cases, determining the type of patent to pursue is obvious, but not always. Moreover, making sure it qualifies for a patent is not always an easy thing to do.

To increase the odds of receiving a patent, it would be a good idea to discuss the matter with a Nashville intellectual property attorney. Working with someone who understands this area of law, and must keep your conversations confidential, could help answer questions, fill out the required paperwork and gather the appropriate evidence needed in order to obtain a patent. The more smoothly the process goes, the sooner the legal protections provided take effect.