A utility patent covers the useful, utilitarian features of an invention (i.e., how/why the invention operates to achieve the desired result). For example, a running shoe may be provided with an outer sole having an inventive material that changes friction depending on an amount and direction of force that is applied.
Utility patents may be obtained for a wide variety of devices and processes, including technology related to: mechanical devices (e.g. furniture, car components, mining equipment, etc.), electrical devices (e.g. circuits, communication devices, microprocessors, computer systems, etc.), chemical innovations (e.g., a new type of polymer, a new type of chemical, etc.), metallurgical innovations (e.g. a new type of alloy), and other types of innovations (e.g. a new pharmaceutical, a new type of medical device). Utility patents can also be filed to protect certain types of methods. For instance, methods of making a type of device or chemical can be the subject of a utility patent.
Examples of Utility Patents