• It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over . . . Maybe: Calculating Patent Term Limits
  • April 27, 2011 | Author: Paul E. Rossler
  • Law Firm: GableGotwals - Tulsa Office
  • The power of the federal government to grant a patent is found in the Constitution, which authorizes Congress the power to legislate and “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to . . . Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective . . . Discoveries.” Pursuant to this power, Congress has passed various patent acts, the current version of which is codified in Title 35 of the United States Code. Title 35 provides for three types of patents: utility, design, and plant. Each type of patent covers a different type of inventive subject matter. Utility patents, which are the most common type of patent, cover the useful, functional features of processes, machines, manufactures (products), and compositions of matter. Design patents, on the other hand, cover the ornamental, non-functional features of products. Plant patents cover asexually reproduced varieties of plants.