A good majority of inventors are not aware of the specific requirements that govern the protection of patented products. This is a matter of great concern considering the great importance of getting the patent rights of any product. The most important reason, and the most commonly known, is the prevention of illegal use of the product being patented by parties that have nothing to do with the invention of the product.
However, the patent requirements of any product have been clearly defined by the U.S. Patent Act under Section One of the act. This article is going to discuss 5 of the most important requirements.
The following subject matters are considered patentable under the U.S. Patent laws and meet the requirements to be patented products.
- The product has to be new and can be anything from toys and electrical appliances to medical and pharmaceutical products.
- If it is a process it has to be new. This could be a manufacturing or industrial process or any other process for that matter.
- A software.
- An established business process.
On the other hand, the following cannot qualify for patent protection.
- Models and formulas used in mathematics.
- Creations made by artists.
- Ideological/ mental processes.
- A plan or scheme.
Innovation has to be New
The product to be patented has to be new, also referred to as “novelty”, and not having been in existence or the public domain before. This prevents the possibility of someone enjoying the economic benefits of a product or process that is already in existence and known. The “novelty” status applies at the time of registering the patent. As such, it is important to include confidentiality terms when showing someone else the product or process before registering the patent.
The Invention has to Be Inventive
The patented products have to be inventive. By this, it means that the product or process that is to be patented needs not to be obvious. It should not be such that another person can make it easier. This prevents unfair advantage of someone patenting and eventually enjoying the economic benefits of a product that can be made by any person with little skills.
“Utility”- The Invention has to be Useful
This does not have to do with whether the product or process being patented can appeal to the market and be consumed. Instead, it refers to the ability of the product in question to be manufactured exactly as described in the patent to make the final product.
This specific requirement came into force in 2013. From then, those who have intentions of patenting a product have to disclose a substantial amount of information about the product to be able to obtain patent rights and the protection that comes with it.
The Innovation Must Not Have been Used Before
This requirement serves to, in a way, emphasize the requirement of the product or process to be patented to be new. By this, it means that you cannot patent and enjoy patented product protection if the product in question has been sold in the market before, or the process being patented has been used in your business before. If this requirement is not met at the time of taking the patent rights, your application will be disqualified in totality.
The requirements revolving around patented products can be complicated for those who are not aware of how the whole application process works. However, this article has made this easier by sharing the specific and most important requirements for your application to be accepted and enjoy the protection that comes with taking product patents. From the article, it is clear that the product or process being innovated has to be new and not have prior use. It should also be inventive and fit other requirements as described by the U.S. Patent Act that has been provided in this article.