Can I patent my idea?

Can I patent my idea?

How many times have you ever thought about a neat concept only to find out later that somebody is already making tons of money with the concept? Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “I better patent my next idea before it’s too late.” But you’re probably wondering how you can patent your next idea. The first step is to determine whether your idea is patentable. This is the prudent step to take before you invest your time, energy, and money in preparing a patent application. By taking this as your first step, you gain the peace of mind and confidence that the odds for your application to turn into an actual U.S. patent are to your favor.

U.S. patent laws limit the types of ideas that can be patented. Several courts have interpreted this statute to generally mean that the types of ideas, which can be patented, are those that produce useful, concrete, and tangible results. For example, mathematical algorithms, formulas, laws of nature, or calculations are not considered patentable subject matter because they are considered abstract ideas that do not necessarily create tangible results. Thus, until the algorithm or formula is utilized to create a product that can touched, the algorithm or formula remains outside the patentable subject matter.

Courts have also interpreted the term “article of manufacture” of the statute to restrict naturally existing things from being patented. For instance, a naturally existing bacterium cannot be patented. However, a human engineered bacterium is considered a patentable subject matter. Other types of inventions that fall within the patentable subject matter include mechanical and electrical elements, combination of mechanical or electrical elements, mechanisms, methods of manufacturing, methods of doing business, and chemical compounds as explained in post too.

The requirement of utility generally does not present any problem with mechanical and electrical devices. The requirement of utility sometimes presents a problem for biotech inventions, particularly for biotech inventions that seek to treat diseases. So long as the patent application contains data demonstrating the efficacy of the invention, the requirement of utility can usually be met. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may also reject based on lack of utility an application that appears to be a perpetual motion machine.

For the applicant’s invention to be novel, the invention:

(1) must not have been known or used by others in this country before the invention of the applicant,
(2) must not have been described in a patent application filed in the U.S. by others before the invention by applicant,
(3) must not have been patented or described in printed publication anywhere more than 1 year before the application,
(4) must not have been in public use or on sale by others in this country more than 1 year before the patent application, or
(5) must not have been made in the U.S. by others prior to the invention date determined during an interference proceeding in the U.S. Patent Office.

As you can see the process is not complicated at all for some people, but it is very complicated to other people so it would be wise to hire a professional company, such as InventHelp, to guide in your patenting process.

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