How long do patents last?

How long do patents last?

Short answer - it depends on the type of patent:

  • design patent, which protects how something looks, typically lasts 15 years.

  • utility patent, which protects the function of an invention, typically lasts 20 years.

  • plant patent, which is fairly uncommon outside of the agricultural industry, typically lasts 20 years.

There are exceptions to the above-mentioned lengths of patent life. The government patent office may adjust the patent life, depending on various factors. Many issues can impact how long a patent lasts.

If you need help with understanding your patent rights or the length of time that a patent is valid for, contact us.


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