Patents > How to Get a Patent


A U.S. patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor(s), issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The right conferred by the patent grant is, in the language of the statute and of the grant itself, "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling" the invention in the United States or "importing" the invention into the United States. To get a U.S. patent, an application must be filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

File a Utility Patent Application

Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or compositions of matters, or any new useful improvement thereof.

File a Design Patent Application

Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.

File a Plant Patent Application

Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

File a patent application electronically

Use EFS-Web, the USPTO's electronic filing system for patent applications, to submit Utility patent applications, Provisional applications, electronic information disclosure statements (eIDS), computer listings, biosequence listings, International Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications , Design applications with color drawings, 371 National Stage applications, Reissue applications, Reexaminations, and Pre-Grant publications to the USPTO via the Internet.

NOTE: At this time, EFS-Web does not accept:

  • Credit Card Authorization Form - PTO-2038;
  • Maintenance Fees;
  • New Plant Applications or Color Plant Drawings;
  • Documents related to Registration Practice & Disciplinary Proceeding;
  • Certified Copies (Ribbon Copies);
  • Secrecy Order Applications and/or Documents;
  • Contested Cases at the Board of Appeal and Interferences;
  • Third party papers under 37 CFR 1.99;
  • Protests under 37 CFR 1.291;
  • Public use hearing papers under 37 CFR 1.292

For more general information about patents and the operations of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, see General Information Concerning Patents

>> Also read about Patent Types


>>Locate a Registered Patent Attorney or Agent

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