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What Are Patents?

A patent for an invention is a grant of a property right by the Government to the inventor.

Patents are granted for any new and useful industrial or technical process, machine, manufacture, or chemical composition of matter, or any new useful improvement thereof...

Requirements For Ideas To Become Patent

A novel idea must fulfill THREE basic requirements such that it can be considered as a patent. The three basic requirements are as follows:

  • Novelty: The invention must be new: Not existing in the public domain, nor used or sold
  • Utility: The idea must be useful. The invention must perform a function, do what you say it does, and benefit society in some way
  • Non-obviousness: Your invention must give new and non-obvious results compared to known approaches

There are six "statutory" classes of inventions under U.S. patent laws:

  1. Methods
  2. Machines
  3. Articles of Manufacture
  4. Compositions of Matter
  5. Designs
  6. Plants

An invention must fall into one of these classes to be patentable.

 Table of Contents

  1. Who is an Inventor
  2. Patents and Patent Classes
  3. Goals of Patent Search
  4. Benefits From Patent Search
  5. Keywords: Before You Start!
  6. How to Search
  7. Tips, Tricks, and Observations






Key Points

To be patentable an idea must be

  • Novel
  • Useful
  • Non-obvious
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