A patent is a security for your idea and your creation and invention that can help to protect your idea from being stolen and capitalized on by other people that do not have the permission or legal authorization to use the idea. The USPTO has to grant the patent in order for the patent holder to bring any legal action against someone that might be illegally using the idea.
There are three different types of related patents that can be awarded to those that apply. The first is a utility patent, this patent protects an idea or invention for a time from other people using the design or idea to create their own product for profit. A good example would be if you designed an invention that helps you to crack eggs more efficiently, you can patent that invention and legally no one else will be able to use that idea for a certain period of time depending on when your patent expires without your express permission.
Another type of patent is a design patent. This type of patent helps to protect the way that an item looks. This means that you may have patented something that is a design element specific to your product or idea. The patent will then prevent other people from using that design feature for their own gain. An intellectual property attorney can help you to create the right patent for your particular needs.
The last type of patent is a patent that does just what you might expect, it protects new species of plants. If you have worked for years to cross-pollinate two plants to create a new breed of plant you can then patent that plant to protect your intellectual work and to make sure that your plant is not going to be used by other people.
These patents are all created to help protect your ideas and make sure that the intellectual property that you have worked so hard to create is protected from other people that might steal your idea. With the help of a patent lawyer, you can protect your ideas and keep them to yourself.