You want to protect your invention, but do you understand patent laws? Understanding the law is important for your invention and also important to keep you from infringing on the rights of other patent holders.
Patent Laws grant a “bundle of rights”, specifically the rights to prevent others from:
- selling; or
- offering for sale the patented invention.
Patent Laws specify that for the invention to be patented it must be novel, useful, and not of an obvious nature. Specific additions to the Patent Laws provide, in addition, for design and plant patents.
Below we will take a look at these one by one.
UTILITY – To be patentable, an invention must be useful.
This requirement is the most often ignored statutory requirement for patentability, as it is intuitively difficult to understand why someone would seek patent protection for an invention that was not useful. Indeed, an inventor is generally motivated to seek patent protection in an attempt to profit financially from his endeavors. However, some showing of utility is required by Patent Laws when seeking patent protection for inventions whose “real world” value may be difficult to gauge or substantiate, such as chemical and pharmaceutical compounds as described on https://inspirationfeed.com/how-inventhelp-can-help-you-protect-your-invention/.
NOVELTY – To be patentable, an invention must also be novel, or new.
Patent Laws may define legal “novelty” in great detail, in general practice, there are only a few basic Patent Laws that need be considered in analyzing whether an invention is novel.
No patent protection is available for:
- an invention known or used by others in the U.S. prior to the date of invention by the Applicant.
- an invention on sale in the U.S. more than one year prior to the filing date of the patent application.
- an invention patented or described in a printed publication anywhere (U.S. or abroad) prior to the date of invention by the Applicant.
- an invention in public use in the U.S. more than one year prior to the filing date of the patent application.
- an invention patented or described in a printed publication anywhere (U.S. or abroad) more than one year prior to the U.S. filing date of the patent application.
NONOBVIOUS – To be patentable, an invention must not be obvious.
Obviousness in Patent Laws mean an invention is not patentable if, considering the prior art that existed at the time of invention, the invention would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art. Secondary considerations of commercial success; long-felt need; and/or commercial acquiescence can factor into such arguments as you can read from https://www.oddee.com/how-inventhelp-can-assist-new-inventors/.
Patent laws are complex and may be difficult for the average person to comply with without legal guidance. If in doubt, it is wise to consult with a patent attorney and save legal and financial repercussions down the road.