What is not patentable?

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Sometimes the best way to determine whether your invention is patentable is to learn what is not patentable.

There are three main reasons why an invention may not be patentable.

What isn't patentable?

You come up with a great idea and want to know if it is patentable before you invest time and money to create it. Sometimes the best way to determine whether your invention is patentable is to learn what is not patentable. There are three main reasons why an invention may not be patentable..


First, if the idea is abstract and you can do it all in your head without any hardware or software, it is not patentable. For example, let’s say people normally use a phonebook to look up people’s telephone numbers and all your invention does is download the telephone book into an excel spreadsheet. This is an abstract idea that is not patentable. Other abstract ideas include methods for doing business, perpetual motion machines, and cold fusion machines. book.


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Second, if someone has already come up with your idea before you have, your invention is not new and is not patentable. The patent system is set up to encourage new ideas. If your idea is not new, it is not patentable..


Third, if no single person has come up with your invention, but you could combine two known inventions that are already patented or out in the public, your invention may not be patentable. For example, if you were to take a pencil and eraser and take the eraser to the pencil, the pencil and eraser are both already invented and taping the eraser to the pencil is a very obvious use of the products. If however, you invent a brand new way to attach the eraser to the pencil, like the little metal clamp on the top of most pencils, then your invention may be patentable. If your invention can overcome these three hurdles, you are well on your way to getting a patent.

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