If you are inventing a new product or process, it may be worth pursuing a Patent application. The patent application must meet unobviousness requirements. These requirements must be substantially different from prior knowledge. The proper subject matter of a patent application may be any product, process, or living organism, including genetically engineered bacteria. In some cases, special provisions permit patents on new varieties of plant life and ornamental designs for articles of manufacture.
Unobviousness is a requirement for a patent
Under US patent law, a new invention must not be obvious to the ordinary person skilled in the art. Specifically, an invention must be “not a logical progression” from prior art, as determined by a process known as the PHOSITA test. This test is based on the assumption that a person of ordinary skill in the art would not know how to solve the same problem by using a similar mechanism. In practice, this is not always a straightforward task.
The second criterion is nonobviousness. An invention is not considered to be novel if someone of ordinary skill could have made it by applying existing technology. This criterion is outlined in 35 U.S.C. SS 103(a).
Patents are granted by government
A patent is a legal document that grants you exclusive rights to use a particular invention. This exclusive right means that no one else can make, use, sell, or import the invention. Patents can also be valuable. In fact, they can even be worth millions of dollars! To obtain a patent, you must make enough detailed disclosures of the invention. The patent office will decide how to define the patent scope and will negotiate with you to ensure that it covers the most important parts of your invention.
Often, there are several reasons why people get patents. For example, a patent for a computer software program may not be based on an idea for a car, but instead on a design. In some cases, the invention may have many uses, but patents are only granted if it does not overlap with other similar inventions. The government grants patents to prevent the copyrighting of another person’s idea.
They can be sold to third parties
If you are interested in making money off of your patents, there are several ways you can sell them. Patent licensing companies typically offer royalties to their owners. These owners include the joint inventors of the patents. The rules of the company typically include a buy-out provision. This can be advantageous for the third party, because they can request the money back after the patent has expired. However, if you plan to sell your patent, make sure that you fully understand the implications of the decision.
They are difficult to enforce
Patents are extremely difficult to enforce. Patentees can prevent third parties from making, selling, importing, or keeping a compound under a patent. Patents often protect an indication, and only infringement occurs if a third party sells the compound for that indication. One example is Warner Lambert v Actavis, a case involving a second-medical use patent for the drug pregabalin.