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The Utility Patent: What is it and What Does it Protect?

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  • Post last modified:June 11, 2023

Do you have a great idea? A thought that can be turned from a brain wave to something that can change the world and maybe even get you some money in the process? Your idea needs to be protected from others who may want to copy or profit from your thoughts. Everyone has heard of or seen inventions that say patent pending or a patent number. This number or saying is what can protect you and your design. Read on to learn more about how to get a utility patent.

What is a Utility Patent?

The U.S. code defines a utility patent as “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.” In simple form, a utility patent (which is what most people refer to when they say that there is a parent or patent pending) is an application to protect new machines, systems, and other useful inventions.

The most common utility patents are:

  • Machines that are composed of moving parts. This includes engines, computers or robotics. (The list is extensive and includes almost anything with moving parts.)
  • Manufactured items. This is anything that human or machines made. This could be something simple such as a household item to a comprehensive designed part for home automation.
  • Processes can also be considered under the utility patent. Often this can be seen in construction of educational systems. When the process can change how things are done and to be more efficient, these processes can be protected as well.
  • Chemical compositions can be protected. Pharmaceutical components and cannabis compositions are examples of this style of utility patents.

How to get a Utility Patent:

  1. Your idea or object needs to be recorded. If there are any conflicts, there needs to be records of the idea that you are seeking to patent.
  2. Search for a patent attorney. If there are conflicts of patent, a lawyer can help protect you and your intellectual property.
  3. A patent lawyer can also assist with the patent search and determine if your intellectual property is able to be patented. There are many factors in this such as any patent pending or if there are roadblocks nationally or internationally.
  4. Filing for a patent: there are many forms and legal paperwork that is part of the filing process. This can be complicated as there needs to be not only drawings and concepts, but also detailed descriptions of how the idea works. If there is anything missing or not completed it can delay the patent or cancel it. This then gives free reign to other people to patent the idea.

Use this list on how to get a utility patent to protect your ideas.


Lawyers are used to protect our rights in many situations. Lawyers can help protect our intellectual property. If you have an idea. then protect your concept by hiring a patent lawyer and getting utility patent. For more information about how to get a utility patent, click here.