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Do I need to file a utility patent application for my add-on?

There are different types of patents available that serve different purposes. The two most common types are utility patents and design patents.

utility patent protects the invention of a new and useful machine or a new and useful improvement thereof and allows the patent owner to prevent others from making, using, or selling the invention for a period of time while the patent is in effect.

design patent protects the new, original ornamental design that is applied to an article.

Based on what you have described, it appears you would be looking to file a utility patent to protect your add-on.

If you would like to consult with an attorney about your idea and determine what an appropriate course of action would be, LawTrades can connect you with a skilled patent attorney from our vetted pool of legal professionals. He or she will be able to provide you with a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your idea and determine how he or she can assist you.