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United States Patent


          A United States Patent begins with a front page including identifying data, the most representative drawing and a short but concise description of the device in plain language. The rest of the patent is much more detailed.

          A typical United States Patent is US Patent #5,356,706, shown here. Information on the front page includes the patent owner, patent number and the date of issue at the top. Next is the title of the patent (Air Pressure Glue Application Head), the filing date, classification (Class 222 Subclass 394), references and the name of the Patent Attorney and Examiner.

          Following the front page is the patent itself, which is taken from the patent application and any amendments or corrections made during the course of the prosecution of the application. Patent applications follow a format determined by the US Patent Office. First, patent drawings disclose the invention graphically. Patent drawings are different from typical engineering drawings and have numbers which are later referenced in the Detailed Description.

          After the drawings is the Background of the Invention followed by a Brief Description of the Device. The Brief Description should be in simple language but is generally more detailed than the Abstract on the front page. After the Brief Description of the Device is the Brief Description of the Drawing Figures. The applicant describes in plain language what the drawing figures are and what they show.

         The Detailed Description of the Device appears next. The detailed description is very important since the device must be disclosed in such clear language that someone with “ordinary skill in the art” will know how to make and how to use the invention.
The final part of the patent is found in “The Claims.” The claims are the “metes-and-bounds” or “property lines” of the patent. The claims are approved by the Patent Examiner once the patent applicant has met the US Paten Office requirements for receiving a patent. In this patent, the Patent Examiner approved 12 claims.

          Links to other typical Utility and Design patents are found towards the bottom of the page. A United States Patent is valid for 20 years.

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United States Trademark


          A United States Trademark protects the name used with goods or services and denotes the source or origin of the goods.
The trademark shown is used on an amusement ride found in Florida near Orlando. The owner of the mark lives in Troy, Illinois but his trademark is good throughout the United States since it is registered with the Trademark Office.

          Trademarks can be a valuable way to protect your good will and trade name. The issued trademark includes information about the filing date of the mark, the date it was first used in interstate commerce, what goods or services it is applied to and the name and address of the trademark owner.


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Utility and Design Patents

          Utility patents are for devices or the way something works (a method). Good examples of utility patents are US Patents: 

                    Water-saving flushing attachment US Patent #4,817,216

                    High and low gear short transmission US Patent #6,027,424

          A good design patent is: Game-ball US Patent #D301, 161


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