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Innovation, Novelty and Patent Protection

What is a patent?

A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor. Generally, the term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States. There are three types of patents:  

Utility Patent

  • Process - steps for making a new chemical or new business method
  • Machine - man-made apparatus with moving parts (engine, camera)
  • Article of Manufacture - man-made apparatus without moving parts (carpet)
  • Composition of Matter - chemical compositions, mixtures of substances (adhesives)

Design Patent - ornamental appearance of an article of manufacture

Plant Patent - distinct and new variety of asexually propagated plant


What can be patented?

An Invention must be

  • Novel: not previously known or used by others; no prior art
  • Useful: have a known use or produce a concrete or tangible result; a commercial market for invention
  • Non-obvious: not obvious to a person having normal skill in the art

Patent Research Data and Tools

Selected Courses from LinkedIN Learning

LinkedIn Learning (formerly, is an online education company offering thousands of video courses in software, creative, and business skills. All Kent State faculty, staff, and students have access to LinkedIn Learning at no charge. Login at Here is a list of just a few of the programs on patents available on LinkedIn Learning:

  • Patenting Your Ideas
  • Understanding Patents: A Deeper Dive
  • Connecting Trade Secrets to Patents and Disclosure
  • U. S. Patent and Trademark Office