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Chemistry 355 and 400

Patents 101

A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office....This grants the owner "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States. Please see USPTO website for more info. 

 

3 types of patents: 

Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. Here is the process for obtaining a utility patent. 

Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. 

Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

 

Before you apply for patent application:

  1. Is your invention patentable? 

  2. What type of patent are you applying for?

  3. Costs & decide if you need legal assistance. 

  4. Apply for a patent through the federal agency United States Patent & Trademark Office. 

What can be patented - utility patents are provided for a new, nonobvious and useful:

  • Process
  • Machine
  • Article of manufacture
  • Composition of matter
  • Improvement of any of the above

Note: In addition to utility patents, encompassing one of the categories above, patent protection is available for (1) ornamental design of an article of manufacture or (2) asexually reproduced plant varieties by design and plant patents.

What cannot be patented:

  • Laws of nature
  • Physical phenomena
  • Abstract ideas
  • Literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works (these can be Copyright protected). Go to the Copyright Office .
  • Inventions which are:
    • Not useful (such as perpetual motion machines); or
    • Offensive to public morality

Invention must also be:

  • Novel
  • Nonobvious
  • Adequately described or enabled (for one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention)
  • Claimed by the inventor in clear and definite terms

Additional Resources

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