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Patents

Patents protect the inventions and works of an inventor from being stolen or copied by somebody else. Patents are not that easy to obtain, and inventions must meet certain qualifications (i.e., it must be new, useful, and not something obvious and ordinary). There are three main types of patents—main, utility, and the most common, the design patent.

A patent on an invention is considered valid for up to 20 years, with the exception of a design patent, which is valid for 14 years. Patents are not renewable, which means that when the 14 years or 20 years are up, you can't prevent anyone from using your invention. A patent in the United States will not protect your invention in other countries. To do that, you will have to file a patent application in every country in which you want protection.


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