What Can Be Patented in the USA? A Comprehensive Guide

In the United States, utility patents can be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of materials, or any new and useful improvement thereon. By far, most of the patent applications filed in the USPTO are for public services. To be eligible for a patent, an invention must have a useful purpose, a patentable object, be novel, and not obvious. This could include a composition, production process, machine, tool, new plant species, or an update of an existing invention.

Inventors must adhere to certain government guidelines to obtain a patent. The USPTO has an application and approval process applicable to these three types of patents. It is beneficial for all inventors to participate in the drafting of the patent application. After filing your patent application with the USPTO, a patent professional will review the state of the art and compare it with your potential patent application. The Patent Act has one of the broadest standards of what is patentable in all countries.

When filing a provisional or non-provisional patent application, inventors must consider the patentability requirements. To be patentable, the invention must be legal, novel, useful and not obvious. Certain requirements such as novelty and lack of obviousness may involve conducting a preliminary patent search with the assistance of a lawyer or agent. The abstract idea exception to patentable matter is particularly important for patents related to software, applications for mobile devices and the Internet. The calculation depends on many factors such as the type of patent, whether regulatory approval is needed, and how long it takes for the United States Patent Office to approve the patent. In order to receive a valid U.

S. patent, inventions must meet the subject matter eligibility requirement as outlined in Section 101. This determination is made by deciding whether the invention that is intended to be patented would have been obvious to a person skilled in the art to which the claimed invention relates. The novelty requirement states that an invention cannot be patented if certain public disclosures of the invention have been made. In the past, patent lawyers could successfully argue against a rejection by demonstrating that the inventors of the prior art references would not have intended to combine their invention with the other invention(s). When all features of your invention are found in a single previous patent, it will be rejected because it lacks novelty. This means that there is a period of one year after the first public disclosure or offer to sell an invention by an inventor during which a patent application must be filed.

To qualify as novel, your invention must be different from anything else that has been patented, sold or otherwise available for public consumption. Therefore, it is almost always preferred to file a patent application before any public disclosure of the invention.

Mitchell Michniak
Mitchell Michniak

Hipster-friendly coffeeaholic. Total coffee junkie. Subtly charming pop culture specialist. Internet scholar. Certified tv aficionado.

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