Know how to determine patentability

22nd November 2010
By Daniel Smith in Copyright & Trademark
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Protecting intellectual property from unauthorized copy and use is one of the first considerations for an inventor/creator. If it is a new invention, i.e. it belongs to scientific or technical domain, the inventor has to acquire a patent for this. This protection is available on products as well as processes.

Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding patentability of inventions.

How do you determine whether your invention qualifies for patent protection? Its quite simple – contact a patent lawyer and he/she would help you in this regard. After you determine this, you can go ahead and file for a patent.

What things are usually patentable? It may be a new machine or a new technology to create a machine, or advancement on any of these. Apart from these, you may also obtain patents on unique designs, computer programs, etc.

What about a discovery in the natural world - can you patent it? No, you cannot obtain a patent on such a discovery. It is not your ‘invention’; it is something you come to know of or realize, something that existed prior to your knowledge of it.

What happens if you want to patent a new species of plant/animal? An already existent species is not within the reach of the patent process. However, you may get a patent on species created with genetic engineering.

Can you get a patent on anything you invent? Every invention requires fulfilling three basic conditions before you can apply for a patent. These are non-obviousness (advanced from the prior inventions), novelty (unique from previous inventions) and applicability (useful for significant number of people).

It is much easier to keep in mind these details if you have legal assistance from a patent lawyer practicing in your city. Why is choosing a local lawyer important? Apart from saving on travel expenses, if you choose a lawyer practicing in your city, you can

* Easily check his/her credentials
* Get details of the cases he/she handled
* Check his/her status with the local bar association

It is much more convenient working with a lawyer who is within easy reach. Therefore, if you are a resident of Miami, you need a Miami patent lawyer, and not someone from Tampa. You can ask for references or just opt for an online search. Whatever doubts and questions you have regarding the patent process, you can have all answers from a proficient lawyer.
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