Silicon Valley Business School

Patents & IP: Understanding Patents
Free Extracts from the Patents & Intellectual Property Course
Below you are free to explore extracts of the learning materials included in this course. If you're interested in educating yourself on these topics, we recommend that you review all these materials. If you're looking for a credential, please take a look at the certificate version of this course which will test your understanding of the materials and track your progress through the course until you have completed it and earned your certificate.

  • Video ~ What is a Patent?
A patent gives you the right to stop others from making, using, or selling the patented invention, for 20 years starting from your original filing date at the Patent Office.

A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 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 or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees.

The patent is issued in the name of the United States under the seal of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and is either signed by the Director of the USPTO or is electronically written thereon and attested by an Office official. The patent contains a grant to the patentee, and a printed copy of the specification and drawing is annexed to the patent and forms a part of it.

  • Video ~ Strange Truths About Patents
This voice narrated slideshow shares insight regarding patents. It compares the usefulness of patents against Trade Secrets. It addresses issues regarding Patent Claims, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the term of patents, among other issues.

This article provides an overview of Utility Patents. It also briefly describes the Utility Patent application process.

This article provides an overview of Design Patents. It also outlines how Design Patents are different from Utility Patents.

The patent laws provide for the granting of design patents to any person who has invented any new and non-obvious ornamental design for an article of manufacture. The design patent protects only the appearance of an article, but not its structural or functional features.

This article provides an overview of Plant Patents. Plant patents are available for the invention or discovery of a new and distinct plant. In order to receive patent protection for a plant, the applicant must be able to reproduce the plant asexually.

The law provides for the granting of a patent to anyone who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber-propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.

New York Times article on Plant Patents and Monsanto.

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