When businesses want to protect their intellectual property, patents are often an option. Knowing the length of these patents in New York and their associated requirements can help companies make informed decisions when developing inventions and products with the hope that they will be profitable.

Patents exist to protect inventors. The federal government created the patent system so people could bring their products to market without worrying that others would steal their ideas. By offering patent protection, the government incentivizes innovators to pursue their inventions, which adds vitality to the economy.

However, the length of a patent can be confusing for some. There are several different types of patents, and different states have different rules regarding the length of each type. To figure out the length of a patent in New York, it helps to understand where it fits into the patent system and then consider the relevant laws in the state.

Types of Patents

Patents of different types have different regulations and rules, including the length of time they remain in effect. Three types of patents are commonly used: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.

Utility Patents

In the United States, utility patents protect an invention or product. The invention must be genuinely unique and contain new and useful features. Utility patents last for 20 years from the date of application, and the patent holder is the only person or company who can make, use, or sell the patented product.

Design Patents

Design patents are similar to utility patents, but they are specifically for aesthetic features or the physical look of a product. For example, an inventor may have the same product as someone else but with a different design or shape. Like utility patents, design patents last for 20 years from the date the application is filed.

Plant Patents

Plant patents are different from the other types of patents because they protect newly created plants. This can include cultivated plants, hybrids, or asexually reproduced plants. Although it’s difficult to compare this type of patent to a traditional patent, they last for 20 years from the date of filing in the United States.

Patents in New York

In New York, patents (including utility patents, design patents, and plant patents) last 20 years from the date of filing. However, businesses must keep in mind that there are certain exceptions to this rule.

For example, if an invention requires a government license, the federal government can extend the patent term to account for the amount of time the application is pending. It’s worth noting that this exception is only for inventors who complete a licensing application directed to a “federal agency or instrumentality.”

Another exception is for delays in payment of maintenance fees. If a business does not pay a maintenance fee within the required time frame, the patent term may be extended. This extension varies depending on the length of the delay and the type of patent.

The bottomline

Patents protect inventors and their products. In New York, utility patents, design patents, and plant patents last for 20 years from the date of application. However, companies should keep in mind that there are certain exceptions to this time frame based on the type of patent and the circumstances of the case. Businesses can consult with experienced local patent lawyers to learn more about the regulations.



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