What can I Patent?

Suppose you are the proud inventor of an electric door lock. How do you know if you can obtain a patent for it? There are three basic criteria for patentability.

First, the invention must be new (first in the world). Second, it must be useful (functional and operative). Finally, it must show inventive ingenuity and not be obvious to someone skilled in that area.

The invention can be a product (a door lock), a composition (a chemical composition used in lubricants for door locks), an apparatus (a machine for making door locks), a process (a method for making door locks), or an improvement on any of these. Ninety percent of patents are, in fact, for improvements to existing patented inventions.

A patent is granted only for the physical embodiment of an idea (e.g. the description of a plausible door lock) or for a process that produces something saleable or tangible. You cannot patent a scientific principle, an abstract theorem, an idea, a method of doing business, a computer program per se, or a medical treatment.

What can you Patent?

New kind of door lockE=MC²
Apparatus for building door locksRomeo and Juliet
Process for lubricating door locksA business plan
Method of making door locks 
Improvements on any of these  

To learn more about protecting your intellectual property get your Free Guide to Patents.

Labels: How to Patent an Idea, Patent a Process, Patent a Product, Invention Patent, Patent Search, Patent Idea

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