Requirements for Patent Eligibility:
Patent eligibility comprises of the five basic elements in the United States which are discussed below in detail.
- Inclusion of patentable subject matters: According to the USPTO guidelines, the patent must be created for subject matters that are new and will prove useful in the course of time. It is a subject matter which is liable of patent It includes all subjects related to any process, machine and electronics, matter composition, business processes, fabrics and fabric designs, sporting equipment, medicines, computer hardware and software programs, man-made bacteria, human genes that are identified and isolated. This does not include patenting of natural laws or universal facts, such as monsoon rain, etc.
- Utility-based inventions: The main focus of utility-based inventions is to be useful and completely scope based.
- Uniqueness: The stated facts and description must be completely novel or new. Even if some parts are taken from an existing projects or facts as a base study, then the derived invention must truly be new, meaningful, and unique.
- Non-obviousness: The stated facts cannot be considered as invention if it is simply a next logical step derived from an existing patent. This element has always been in debate between the USPTO and patent applicants.
- Non-disclosure: The patent must not be disclosed or stated, produced or presented on social media, or news bureau or any sort or public disclosure before filing an application for it.
Patent are classified into three basic categories, such as utility, design, and plant patents, which are discussed below in detail.
- Utility patents: It covers patents related to processes, such as business processes, computer software, engineering methods, etc., all sorts of machines, manufacturing field, and anything related to matter composition, such as pharmaceuticals, chemical compounds, artificial genetic creations. It is valid till 20 years from its filing date. These patents are the most commanding and influential ones and therefore are the most challenging ones to attain.
- Design patents: It covers all non-functional, purely patterned designs. They offer limited protection and easily gets issued. It is valid for 14 years from its filing date. It is difficult to infringe an existing design patent since it must bear the exact identical design.
- Plant patents: It covers patents for sexually reproduced plant seeds and asexually reproduced plants that are generated as a result of a number of scientific experiments hybridizing variety of plant species for creating new plant species. These are valid for 17 years from the date of filing and are least granted patents.
Process of Receiving a Patent
It involves three steps which gradually increase in difficulty levels as we move from the first to the third. The first step is having a patentable subject matter, second is novelty (or “newness” of the invention), and the third is non-obviousness (checking if the invention is well stated and non-obvious from patented ones).