MPEP 201
Types of Applications

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in Januay 2018

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201    Types of Applications [R-07.2015]

35 U.S.C. 101 Inventions patentable.

Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

35 U.S.C. 161 Patents for plants.

Whoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

The provisions of this title relating to patents for inventions shall apply to patents for plants, except as otherwise provided.

35 U.S.C. 171 Patents for designs.

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—Whoever invents any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.
  • (b) APPLICABILITY OF THIS TITLE.—The provisions of this title relating to patents for inventions shall apply to patents for designs, except as otherwise provided.
  • (c) FILING DATE.—The filing date of an application for patent for design shall be the date on which the specification as prescribed by section 112 and any required drawings are filed.

Patent applications can be directed to three broad types of subject matter:

  • (A) applications for patents as provided for by 35 U.S.C. 101 relating to a "new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter," etc.;
  • (B) applications for plant patents as provided for by 35 U.S.C. 161; and
  • (C) applications for design patents as provided for by 35 U.S.C. 171.

The first type of patent application is sometimes referred to as a "utility" patent applications when being contrasted with a plant or design patent application. The specialized procedure which pertains to the examination of applications for design and plant patents are treated in detail in Chapters 1500 and 1600, respectively.