Depending on the type of patent, the protection duration varies. Generally, protection lasts for twenty years for utility patents, beginning when it was filed.
A 20-year span gives investors enough time to benefit from their protected ideas without worrying about competition. This timeframe also provides ample time for continual innovation to take shape.
Even with protection, maintaining a patent involves continual maintenance efforts and obligations to ensure patent renewal. Design patents, however, last for a shorter period, typically 15 years from the grant date.
While the design patent protection timeframe is faster, it offers valuable protection that deters others from copying the invention or its design elements.
To avoid accidental infringement, do your research before applying for your patent. If your invention infringes on another’s, there will be potential legal hoops to jump through and delays in getting your patent.
Research patents in effect and any public information that will let you know whether your invention impedes upon another’s. For more information on answering “how long does patent protection last?” and other logistics, continue reading.
To Understand Patent Protection, Ask, “How Long Does Patent Protection Last?”
Patent protection is a series of rights given to an inventor by a government for a set period. In exchange, the invention is publicly disclosed.
Be sure to conduct a proper art search before applying for your patent, as this will identify if existing patents or related information is too similar to your invention.
With this information, you can go back and make changes before you’re ready to try again. If you’ve been wondering, “how long does patent protection last?”, protection for utility patents is 20 years from the date filed and 15 years for design patents (from its grant date).
Keep Your Invention Protected
Once you’ve received your patent, it is your job to enforce your rights. Even if you know the answer to “how long does patent protection last,” you’ll still need to do your part to maintain this timeframe.
Enforcing your patent rights may consist of taking necessary legal actions that keep your invention safe from infringement and managing challenges that arise to the validity of your patent under patent law.
You can hire a patent attorney to answer how long patent protection lasts and to assist you with navigating the steps you need to take to enforce your rights.
Distinguish a Design From a Utility Patent
When you look into queries like, “how long does patent protection last,” you’ll find that the type of patent influences the allotted protection timeframe. The differences between design and utility patents are aesthetic protections vs. functional protections.
Design patents protect the appearance and designs of a manufactured item, whereas utility patents protect the functionality, composition, and manufacturing articles.
Work With a Patent Attorney
For the best outcomes, work with a patent attorney and ask: “how long does patent protection last?” Whether you’re looking for protection for your entire invention or aspects of it, work with a qualified patent attorney to resolve these matters successfully.