What Are the 3 Types of Patents? Utility patents are by far the most well-known kind of patent. They are used to cover innovative and beneficial methods and inventions, and also enhancements on existing patents. These include inventions that use machines and compounds of matter. A process is defined as the method used to accomplish something that is done, while the term composition of matter means an invention that is a chemical compound or mix. Machines and equipment are both included under the category of utility patents. Manufacturing processes also qualify under utility patents.