The US patent statute provides for both utility and design patent protection.


Utility patents protect new, useful and non-obvious functional or utilitarian features of a product, article of manufacture, or process. Utility patents protect a client’s engineering investment and can create roadblocks for others who want to copy novel features of the client’s product or process.


Design patents protect new, original ornamental design features of a product or article of manufacture. In particular, a design patent protects what a product or device “looks like”. Typically design patents are less expense and can protect the client’s business investment from “knock-off” products.


A provisional application is a less formal utility patent application that can be used as a lower cost way to protect the client’s right to seek patent protection. The description of the invention in a provisional patent application can be used to provide an early priority date for a non-provisional application filed within one year of the filing date of the provisional application. The provisional application does not contain patent claims, is not examined and never matures into a patent.


A non-provisional patent application is a formal utility patent application to seek patent protection for the client’s invention. The non-provisional application includes patent claims directed to the client’s invention. The claims are examined by the United States Patent Office for patentability and compliance with patent requirements. One or more patents can be granted containing claims directed to the subject matter of the non-provisional patent application.

Attorney Deirdre Kvale has decades of experience protecting intellectual property assets in United States and abroad. Her experience includes representing diverse clients in various technology areas, including heavy equipment and machines, computer devices and components, manufacturing, measurement systems and devices, medical devices and products, consumer products and software patents and technology. She can assist you with the patent application process as well as patent searching to evaluate patentability of your invention. Call to discuss your particular patent matter.