What is a Non-provisional (Utility) Patent?

If the invention is, for example, a combination of structural elements, a combination of pieces that are put together in a unique way for a unique purpose, then we are probably talking about a utility patent.

Utility patents can also be used to protect a method, which is a combination of steps that are arranged for a functional purpose, to carry out a desired, functional result.

What type of protection does a Utility Patent give?

A utility patent can be the most appropriate form of protection in order to prevent other people from making, using, or selling the same technology, the same machine, or the same idea as what you have in mind.

What are the considerations for getting a Utility Patent?

A utility patent application should illustrate and describe a workable example of your invention to the satisfaction of the rules of the Patent Office.
But also you want that utility patent application to create effective boundaries that keep other people from exploiting the technology, the idea, your invention, without your permission.

Meeting both of those goals can be quite challenging.

Is a Utility Patent appropriate for me, my idea and my goals?

The answer can sometimes be clearly yes, and the answer can sometimes be clearly no.
Other times, the answer may be that it might become appropriate to invest later, but for now it might make sense to take a lower cost alternative is to buy some additional time before filing a full utility patent application.