Inventor's Guide

What Can Be Patented?

The word "patent" means open or exposed, and the main goal of the United States patent system is to open or expose new advances in technology and promote science and the useful arts. The invention can only be patented if it fits within one of the statutorily defined classes of subject matter. The statutory classes include:

  • Processes
  • Machines
  • Manufactures
  • Compositions of Matter
  • Any new or useful improvements of the above

Patentability Requirements

Patentability requires that the invention meet three requirements: namely, that the invention is:

Obtaining a Patent

A patent has 3 components : a specification, claims, and drawings (if needed), which can include diagrams, flow charts, and photographs. The specification must provide a:

To obtain a US patent, a patent application containing the above three components must be filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). In addition, a filing fee must be paid.