What Inventions Can Be Patented?

Before your invention can be patented, it must meet the criteria of usefulness, novelty and non-obviousness. This means that it must be new and different from existing products or processes, and must be so different that it could not have been known to anyone who was skilled in the field of the invention at the time of its creation. To find out whether or not your invention meets these criteria, contact a patent attorney. If you think your invention is new and different from existing products or processes, you should consult with an attorney.


  1. What can be patented?
    • Examples of inventions that may be eligible for patent protection
  2. Criteria to patent inventions
    • Prior art
    • Newness
    • Non-obviousness
  3. Utility Patents

What can be patented?

Patents can protect many types of inventions, processes, and improvements to existing products. Patents don’t protect ideas, but rather the way they are carried out. If you have an idea for a product that doesn’t exist yet, you can apply for a patent before developing it. That way, once it’s developed and ready to market, no one else can use it without your permission.

examples of inventions that may be eligible for patent protection:

  • Inventions involving new machines (for example, a machine that makes cars) or processes (for example, a process for making cars).
  • New manufacturing techniques or methods (for example, a new method for making glass).
  • New compositions of matter (for example, new chemicals).
  • New plants or animals (for example, a new species of plant or animal).

What USPTO checks To evaluate patentability of inventions

Prior art

Prior art is any published material that shows your invention was not new at the time you filed your application. It can be another inventor’s patent or even a book chapter describing how to make your invention. The USPTO considers prior art when evaluating whether your invention is eligible for a patent. If there was no previously published description of your invention, it will be eligible for a patent without any further evidence of originality.

There are types of prior art. The first type is any published or patented article from outside of the United States. This type of prior art is unenforceable. The second type is a published description of the same invention in another country. Unlike the first type, however, prior art in this category can be used as the basis for an invalid patent application. In either case, the inventor has the right to file a patent application in the country of origin, but may not be able to use that patent in the U.S.

Before an invention can be patented, there must not be any type of prior art. This prior art can include any printed publication, a product that already exists, or even a patent that is issued in another country. Depending on the field, this prior art may be centuries old or as new as the invention itself. In some cases, the prior art may not be practical at all, but it still serves as a basis for denying the patent application.

The third type of prior art is inventions that were previously in existence. Inventions that were used in public or for a commercial purpose are not considered prior art if they are used for the purpose for which they were originally developed. Public use may include a commercially successful product, a long-felt need, or even copies of that invention. While the first two types of prior art are generally unrecognized, the second category involves published information that was not available to the public.

The fourth type of prior art is obvious and is the most common. If an invention is already available, it is obvious. Adding feature C would not circumvent infringement. However, it may be possible to omit an essential feature and avoid the problem. However, there are other forms of prior art, which can be difficult to identify. A recent example of this was a reddit user’s search for prior art in the USPTO or Google patents.


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines an invention as a new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter that is made by a person or persons who has not previously made it known to the public.

In other words, an invention is any new method or product that’s never been seen before. Inventions can include new applications of existing technology, such as using an existing drug to treat a different condition.

Inventors file patent applications with the USPTO to protect their inventions from being copied by others. Patents provide exclusive rights for 20 years during which time the inventor can make money from his or her idea without fear that someone else will copy it and sell it first.

To obtain a patent, an invention must be new – it must have not been published anywhere in the past. It must also not be the subject of prior public knowledge, and must be capable of making its intended use within an industry. The invention must also be new when compared to traditional knowledge. For it to qualify, an invention must be new compared to prior art. In other words, it must be genuine and not discovered by others.


To qualify for patent protection, an invention must be novel and nonobvious to the general public.

While it is possible to avoid the rejection of your patent application by using inventive step and non-obviousness when patenting your invention, it is important to understand the differences between the two terms. Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, the assessment of inventive step and non-obviousness varies from country to country. For instance, the assessment practices of the European Patent Office differ from those of the United Kingdom.

There are a number of secondary factors that can support your claim. If your invention has achieved commercial success, it is more likely to be obvious than not. Whether or not it has met a long-felt need in an industry is also relevant. Furthermore, if your invention has been copied and licensed by others, it may have a high likelihood of success. While it is important to show that your invention has a high likelihood of achieving commercial success, you should note that it is not enough to be considered an obvious invention. Similarly, if you have a unique and non-obvious product, you must show that you have created a new product.

A combination of several references will reveal a patented invention. For example, if you combine invention A with invention B, then it is obvious. Therefore, someone skilled in the field of invention would consider your invention obvious if they combine the two. This can be a difficult task for an inventor. But there are cases where inherency is considered an exception. This occurs in the Federal Circuit case In re Rijckaert.

Whether your invention is obvious or not will depend on whether you have applied for a patent. In some cases, the gap between the prior art and your claimed invention is not that large that it is not obvious. In these cases, you must use a rule-like approach to avoid patent-pending for products that are no better than the prior art. This method of patenting is not for everyone, and some examples of non-obviousness may still be unsuitable.

Why patents are valuable

Patents are valuable for several reasons. They provide protection for the inventor for a specific period of time, and they also encourage innovation and development. In addition to providing protection for an inventor, patents foster healthy competition and promote worldwide investments in experimentation and research. In addition, India has the highest standards for patents in the world. It is important to note that the patent laws of India have the most stringent requirements for innovation.

In the United States, the rules for obtaining patent protection have changed significantly over the past 200 years. Today, the court emphasizes usefulness and novelty, rather than abstract principles or scientific theories. The shift in emphasis reflects changes in American technology history and in the ideas of the inventor and society. Patents are now the most important form of intellectual property, and the government aims to protect the rights of inventors.

Utility Patents

In many cases, utility inventions can be patented. These patents protect your unique invention against others making, selling, or importing it. While you may be entitled to make, sell, and import your own invention, the right to do so is only granted if someone else has not already patented it. The process or method may have been patented before, and later similar inventions may infringe on the patent of an earlier inventor.

To be eligible for a utility patent, your invention must be useful and operable. It must also be a substantial improvement over an existing invention. Although “beneficial use” is a critical component of a utility patent, it has not been widely applied in recent years. To qualify, your invention must improve a particular product or process. Generally, even small design changes can qualify as significant, but you must provide evidence of the difference. Utility inventions are patented 90 percent of the time.

When filing a utility patent, you should choose a date when you first intend to file it. Generally, utility patents last for 20 years. During this time, you may have to pay maintenance fees for the patent, which can add up over time. Utility patents can also be used to prevent others from using or selling your invention. Ultimately, the key benefit of utility patents is the ability to prevent others from copying or modifying your creation.

While utility patents may be more time-consuming to process, they have a higher chance of being issued. A successful utility patent application will typically include a numbered list of sentences that describe your invention and its function. Often, the patent will have a claim that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. If someone else copies your invention, you can be sued for infringement. There are a variety of reasons why you may be accused of infringement, so it is imperative to understand what your options are.

Another common misconception is that abstract ideas are not patentable. Patents for abstract ideas are not enforceable because they do not contain a machine, method, or process. Instead, abstract ideas may be applied to make a product or process that addresses a business objective. Some examples of patented abstract ideas are computer software, medical treatments, and genetically modified aspects of organisms and plants. Additionally, abstract ideas are patentable if they are novel, useful, or not obvious.