Just about anything is patentable in the U.S. if it meets a few qualifications:
First, it has to be new. You can’t patent something that’s known to the public… even if no one ever patented it before.
Second, it has to be useful. The idea has to solve a problem and provide some useful benefit. Sometimes people will try to get a patent on a perpetual motion device, but perpetual motion violates an accepted law of nature, so the Patent Office will reject the claim as physically impossible, and therefore unable to provide any useful benefit.
The next thing is- it can’t be obvious. For example, imagine the guy inventing the first table. If that table happened to have a square top…. His competitor couldn’t make a table with a round top and then claim that as a separate invention.
Finally, the claims have to be worded properly. (That’s where Fish IP Law comes in…)
So, what kinds of things are patentable? Lots of things… including all manner of physical devices, computer software, methods of doing business, methods of production, methods of sourcing, living creatures other than human beings, and so on.
If you have an invention and it meets the criteria, you may well have something that’s patentable.
Have more questions? Be sure to visit our Full FAQ gallery or contact us directly at Ask a Question.