A new or improved machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter, or process
A utility patent relates to a new or improved machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter, or process. Several examples are listed below. It does not relate to other things, such as methods of doing business or principles of nature. At times a utility patent is referred to as a “mechanical patent” Since patents may be granted on things other than mechanical devices, such as a process of manufacturing or chemical composition, and represent a technological advance, the term “technology patent” is sometimes used to refer to utility patents. A utility patent is granted for a patent term of 20 years from the date of filing the patent application. During this term the patent owner has the right to exclude others from sale, or selling the patented thing. Examples of items that may be protected by Utility Patents include: machines, tools, games, electronic devices, software programs, chemical formulas, methods of manufacturing, consumer products.