To receive a U.S. patent an application must be filed with the USPTO or United States Patent and Trademark Office.
File Electronically Over The InternetYou can use the USPTO's electronic filing system or EFS for certain patent applications. With EFS you can submit utility patent applications, provisional applications, electronic information disclosure statements, patent assignments, computer readable format (CRF) biosequencelistings, and pre-grant publication submissions to the USPTO via the Internet. What you can file for electronically is always being updated check with the USPTO for the latest updates. EFS - File A Patent Application Electronically
Warning Patent Applications Are Not EasyEven if you use the EFS, you will still need help creating patent drawings and writing your patent application. A patent application is a legal document. Write it the wrong way and your application may not be accepted or your patent protection may be inadequate. Learn all that you can and that will make you an informed consumer, however, expect to hire professional help. Read our guides to filing listed below to understand the scope of what is involved in creating a patent application.
Utility PatentsUtility patents protect useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of matter, or improvements to any of the above. Examples: fiber optics, computer hardware, medications. How To File A Utility Patent Application
Provisional Utility PatentUtility patents can be the standard long-term provisional type (above) or the more temporary non-provisional. A provisional application allows filing without a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement. Do not file for this type of patent unless you know why. How To File A Provisional Utility Patent Application
Design PatentsDesign patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. The subject matter of a design patent application may relate to the configuration or shape of an article, to the surface ornamentation applied to an article, or to the combination of configuration and surface ornamentation. The look of an athletic shoe, a bicycle helmet, and the Star Wars characters are all protected by design patents. How To File A Design Patent Application
The Difference Between Design and Utility PatentsIn general terms, a utility patent protects the way an article is used and works, while a design patent protects the way an article looks. Both design and utility patents may be obtained on an article if invention resides both in its utility and ornamental appearance. While utility and design patents afford legally separate protection, the utility and ornamentally of an article are not easily separable. Articles of manufacture may possess both functional and ornamental characteristics.
Note: Many disreputable invention companies will urge a customer to file for just a design patent when it is the protection of the more complex utility patent that is needed.
Plant PatentsPlant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant. Hybrid tea roses, Silver Queen corn, Better Boy tomatoes are all protected by plant patents. How To File A Plant Patent Application
You can also find many other types of USPTO forms online Get Online Patent Forms and Software