3 Requirements for Patentability: What You Need to Know

If you're considering filing a patent application, it's important to understand the three requirements for patentability. Most patent attorneys will strive to file a patent application before any publication or public announcement to ensure international patent filing. If you think this could be a problem, it's best to consult a patent attorney, as there are different rules on experimental uses of inventions that could help you get around the one-year rule. The first requirement for patentability is novelty.

This fulfills the constitutional objective of promoting productivity and innovation by limiting the granting of patents to new inventions. To be considered novel, an invention must not have been previously disclosed in any form, including sale, public use, or printed publication. If any of these three things occur one year before the application date, you cannot apply for a patent. The second requirement is utility.

All utility patents must demonstrate that they are useful now, not just potentially useful, or at least have a solid theoretical basis to be useful. This is why it's often beneficial to file a patent application before any public disclosure of the invention - so that the usefulness of the invention can be fully realized over time. The third requirement is non-obviousness. This determination is made when deciding whether the invention being sought to patent would have been obvious to a person skilled in the art to which the claimed invention relates.

In the past, patent attorneys could successfully argue against a refusal by demonstrating that the inventors of prior art references would not have intended to combine their invention with the other invention or inventions. These three requirements - novelty, utility, and non-obviousness - are essential for an invention to be considered patentable. Unfortunately, the actual test of patentability is a little more complicated than this phrase suggests. Therefore, it's almost always preferable to consult a patent attorney before filing a patent application.

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