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Patents provide protection for new discoveries and inventions that are useful, novel, or non-obvious. There are three types of patents available for inventions and discoveries: design patents, utility patents, and plant patents. In order to receive patent protection, the patent seeker is required to file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). When a person receives patent protection, he or she has the exclusive right to prevent other people from making, selling, or using his or her invention or discovery. FindLaw's section on Patents provides information on different types of patents, a guide to patenting an idea or invention, tips on licensing a patent, and more. In this section, you can also find links to forms and resources from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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