Patent law is the series of laws that govern the patent rights. These rights are established by the Constitution and are regulated by Title 35 of the United States Code and Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Patent law comes from the United States Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution states that, “The Congress shall have Power . . . To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to . . . Inventors the exclusive Right to their . . . Discoveries . . .” This constitutional clause expressly gives Congress the right to develop laws that grant inventors the exclusive rights to their inventions for such periods of time that Congress may determine. Pursuant to this authority, Congress has enacted patent laws which can generally be found in Title 35 of the United States Code
A patent is a type of property right. Patent law confers on the holder what may be termed as negative rights. That is, patent law does not grant a patent holder the right to affirmatively do anything, but rather, grants him or her the right to prevent others from doing something. U.S. patent law confers upon the holder the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the patented invention into the United States.
There are three types of patents: utility patent, design patents and plant patents. Utility patents protect the useful/operational aspects of an invention. Design patents protect the aesthetic aspects of an invention. Plant patents protect certain plant inventions.