"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." 35 U.S.C. 101
Differences between Utility Patent and Design Patent
There are several types of patents. In the United States, patents are divided into three broad categories: Utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. A utility patent protects the way an article works and is used. A design patent protects the way an article looks.
"Whoever invents any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture may obtain a patent therefor." 35 U.S.C. 171