What types of inventions can be patented?
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
An invention must fall within one of four main classes of inventions to be patentable including process, machines, articles of manufacture, or composition of matter. In order to be eligible for a patent, the invention must not be obvious to a person having ordinary skills in the subject matter and it must have some utility. Utility means proof that the invention can be made operable and not be frivolous in nature.
Process Invention Patents
A process is defined as how a product is created or prepared for sale. Some examples of patentable processes would include a new means of tempering steel, a new way to remove pesticides from produce, or a new way to treat municipal water. The application for a process requires that the entire process be presented in detail, including an explanation of its purposes and advantages.
Machine Invention Patents
While it may seem obvious, there are some things that may not fit into this category. The machines referred to for this patent are manufacturing robots and manufacturing machines, not household mechanical devices. For example, robot arms for assembly lines, new conveyor belts, or a new type of labeling machine would all fall under the machine category. In this category, a blueprint for the machine part must be included. In addition, it is required to show that the machine part actually works. Typically, video of the machine part in use will be included in the application.
Articles of Manufacture Patents
This is the category that all household devices and handy inventions fall into. Articles of manufacture include everything from lawn flamingos to iPods. Basically, anything that is mass-produced and sold to the public is an article of manufacture.
Composition of Matter Patents
This category is one for chemists. It includes the creation of new elements and chemical compounds. This application requires specific instructions on the creation of the element and any details as to stability or instability. If you are unsure what category your invention falls under, consult with a patent attorney.