What All Can Be Patented?

There are two types of inventions that can be patented. These are the Products and Processes involving an inventive step. Design patents are also available. These inventions are related and must be of a technological nature. To learn more about the different types of patents, visit our patent pages. We hope you find this article helpful! And don’t forget to bookmark this page to refer back to when you’re ready to file your first patent application.


Patenting processes involves applying for a process patent. Patents for processes cover the specific steps used to create a patented product. These steps are often described as “solutions” that provide specific results. Patents for processes may also cover the special technical order that chemicals must be used in. The patented process may lead to new products. There are many different ways to protect your invention. Read on to learn more about how processes can be patented.

There are a few important requirements for a process to qualify for patenting. First, it must be novel and distinct from any previously disclosed processes. Second, it must have been disclosed publicly within 12 months of the invention. A process cannot be patented if it is simply used. In addition, it must be patented within 12 months of being disclosed publicly. Processes can only be patented if they are transformed into something new.


Ideas for a new product or business method can be patented, and there are a variety of categories of inventions that fall under each. A new drug may be the product of a patented process, or a stronger glue or informational calculation may be a product. Other examples of new products and business methods that can be patented include software processes or the arrangement of steps used to create a product. It is also possible to patent an idea for a new product that does not meet a defined category.

The problem with patents is that they are designed only for big companies, so small businesses are not able to compete with them. However, many key inventions had several independent inventors. These successful inventors were selected for feasibility and proximity to means. This has led to a plethora of new products and services. Products that can be patented may solve problems that other people face, such as crop-damaging insects.

Processes involving an inventive step

The rule governing if a process or product is patentable is known as the “inventive step”. This is a critical element, as the rule distinguishes between an improvement and an entirely new item. A new improvement can be patented, but the new method or process must be novel and not obvious to others. Processes involving an inventive step are often easier to patent than products, but it is still crucial to be sure of your process.

In some cases, an inventive step can be provided by a specific combination of components. A good example of this is the probes on a microarray. The House of Lords addressed this issue in Sabaf, stating that before claiming a process involving multiple components, one must take into account the number of inventions that would have been possible with the method or process. The House of Lords also referred to the EPO Examination Guidelines, which discuss the issue of combination versus juxtaposition and aggregation.

Design patents

A design patent may have limited protection over the idea itself. For example, a competitor could easily change the design of your product slightly and still be infringing on your idea. Design patents can be applied for in the same manner as utility patents: the application is subject to examination, response, and potential reconsideration. A design patent application requires less technical detail than a utility patent application. The lifetime of a design patent is not as long as a utility patent, and it does not expire.

A design patent application requires a single claim reciting one inventive concept. The specification can also contain more than one alternative embodiment. While the USPTO does allow an applicant to pursue multiple concepts, he must select just one. Failure to do so could result in legal consequences for the applicant. In addition, design patents require an inventor to pay an examination and filing fee. The fees for design patent applications can vary wildly. However, the application process is relatively straightforward.

Non-obvious inventions

Patenting non-obvious inventions requires that the inventor create something that is novel, and it must be something that no one else has created before. It must also have not been described in any patent application or publication. An obvious invention is one that is obvious to you and others, but a new way to combine two known things is what elevates it to a patentable idea. Whether an invention is obvious or not can be determined based on the process that a person would use to make it.

A camera phone is a good example. Despite being made of readily available parts, it fills a huge unmet need in the marketplace. The invention itself is not a revolutionary change or breakthrough. The most important inventions are those that make life easier for others or save them money and hassle. Non-obvious inventions can be patented if they are radically new and save people time and money.


To patent an idea, it must be detailed and unique. Your patent attorney will advise you on the level of detail required. An idea is not patentable if it has been publicly disclosed or is already known. To patent an idea, it must also be new, useful, and not obvious. Not all ideas can be patented, though; some of them do qualify. These guidelines are established by the USPTO, which also determines whether an idea can be improved or manufactured.

Inventions do not need to be complex to qualify for patent protection. Even simple inventions can qualify as a patented product. For example, ring pull-tabs for beverage cans are patented, as their design was deemed to be a significant improvement over existing can opening methods. Another example of a patented idea is the Amazon one-click ordering system. This service allows customers to buy items with just one click, bypassing the typical online purchasing process.

General relativity

Einstein, who is credited with the idea of gravity, could easily have his theory patented. His thought experiment involves a falling man, who experiences acceleration as he moves forward. The man’s movement is related to the gravitational field of an elevator, as well as the physics of gravity. Einstein’s theory of relativity explains how these forces interact. In his book, he also describes the equivalence principle, and his explanation of gravitational redshift.

Einstein’s interest in physical and intellectual property could have influenced his decision to generalize. In fact, he worked at the Swiss Patent Office in Berne from 1902 to 1909, eventually being promoted to technical expert (second class). In his spare time, he published an astounding set of theoretical physics publications. One of these publications, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, contained a special theory of relativity.

After leaving the patent office, Einstein began working on his new theory. His colleagues included Michele Besso, Marcel Grossmann, and a cast of others. His new theory of gravity was based on his own calculations, but he also sought advice from his younger colleagues. Einstein’s work was an important contribution to science, but he remained unpaid for his work. This led to his patent application in 1922.

Mathematical formulas

While some mathematical formulas can be patented, they cannot support patents if they do not incorporate other inventive concepts. For example, Pythagoras would not be eligible to receive a patent for the formula he developed, even if it has been known for thousands of years. But the EPO explicitly states that mathematical formulas may be patented if they are specifically implemented in a practical way.

It is possible that patents on mathematical formulas may preclude future research, but it is not clear whether or not these patents will deter further inventions. However, they are likely to discourage others from creating new products based on such formulas. That being said, mathematicians should consider whether or not they should be able to patent their work. If they cannot, they should not be able to.

While concepts, ideas, and facts cannot be patented, mathematical formulas can. The only exceptions to this are algorithms and software. While mathematical formulas do not contain any new concepts, they can be patented if they are part of a business process or a machine. A judge in 2010 threw out a copyright case for electron dynamics. Whether math formulas are patentable is a matter of opinion, but it’s worth asking if you have any plans to use it.