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What cannot be patented in the United States?

If you invented a product or process in the United States, it would be wise to protect it. By patenting your invention, you hold the rights to its process and application.

Exceptions to the rules of patentability exist. It is essential for you or your business to understand the patent procedure, or you may end up engaged in a lawsuit against a perfectly legal matter.

Your invention as a novelty

To patent your invention, the United States requires multiple elements. First, you must consider that your patent is:

  • Novel: Your patentable invention must be new, or differ from existing in public domain.
  • Useful or with utility: Your patentable invention must accomplish something.
  • Not obvious: Your patentable invention must prove to be unconventional.

Though your invention may include an adaptation from an existing one, you must be sure that your invention falls into the following categories.

  • A process
  • A machine
  • A manufactured article
  • A new composition
  • An asexually reproduced and new variety of a plant

Exceptions with disclosure

Should you wish to file for a patent in the United States, serious legal elements must be followed. You may not patent an invention if:

  1. Your claimed invention is already patented.
  2. Your claimed invention is in a printed publication.
  3. Your claimed invention is available to the public before your filing date.

The actual composition of your patent matters as well. You may not patent:

  • Mathematical equations: Although you may patent a process using a mathematical equation, you may not patent the equation itself, even if you discovered it.
  • Laws of Nature: The Laws of Nature usually depict mathematical equations that hold true on Earth. Although it is an exceptional discovery, you may not patent these ideas.
  • Living things: Discovering or creating a new species by mating two organisms does not constitute a patentable invention.
  • Ideas: Ideas do not execute. Should your invention begin with an idea, to be patentable, you must provide the process or documentation of the execution for the idea to be patentable.

To patent your item, you must ensure that you follow all legal elements. In the United States, patentable items fall into many categories, and you may not duplicate a patented item. The only way to ensure that your patent follows all legal rules is to hire experienced patent attorneys, so that they may provide sound expertise in filing patent agreements. Without the help of an attorney, you could waste thousands in development, file an unsatisfactory patent, and leave your invention unprotected.

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