Advice on Patents

 

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What Can Be Patented

   

Patent Law clearly states what qualifies for a patent. The subjects and conditions for being granted a patent are governed by these laws. Using these specifications brings you that much closer to qualifying to be awarded a patent.

The official wording of the patent statute is:

 Any person who “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,” subject to the conditions and requirements of the law. The word “process” is defined by law as a process, act or method, and primarily includes industrial or technical processes. The term “machine” used in the statute needs no explanation.

The term “manufacture” refers to articles that are made, and includes all manufactured articles. The term “composition of matter” relates to chemical compositions and may include mixtures of ingredients as well as new chemical compounds. These classes of subject matter taken together include practically everything that is made by man and the processes for making the products. *

“A patent cannot be obtained upon a mere idea or suggestion. The patent is granted upon the new machine, manufacture, etc., as has been said, and not upon the idea or suggestion of the new machine. A complete description of the actual machine or other subject matter for which a patent is sought is required”.*

Also not qualifying for a patent would be :

“(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent,” or “(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country more than one year prior to the application for patent in the United States". *

After reading these qualifications, it's quite easy to see why the patent search process is so important, not to mention being quite difficult.

The search must be extremely thorough, not only in the subject matter of the invention, but of all inventions to verify it is not infringing on a design of an unrelated product.

* Reprinted from the USPTO statute itself. 

 © Lee A. Jesberger - 2008

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