What are the four essential requirements for an accurate patent definition? These same four things are also necessary requirements to file a patent that will be of value and protect your invention from theft. They are:
The invention must be novel
Being novel means that it can not be known by others or used by others before the inventor claims to have invented it. It also means that the invention can not be patented or publicly disclosed before the inventor's claimed invention. The patent must be applied for within 1 year after public disclosure or use.
The invention must not be obvious
The proposed invention can not be obvious to a person with average skill in the knowledge area of the invention. An example might be a red toy car. A blue toy car would be an obvious extension of a red toy car. However a toy car that transforms into a robot is not an obvious extension of a red toy car.
The invention must be described simply and completely, so a skillful person could duplicate it
A person with skill in the knowledge area must be able to understand the invention completely, in order to have it to be patentable. If fear of having the invention stolen motivates the inventor to leave out essential elements of the invention, then it is not patentable. This person would be better served by keeping the invention a trade secret.
The patent claims must be clear and specific
The patent claims are the most difficult, but the most important part of a patent. They are the intellectual property that you are requesting the patent office to protect. These claims must be specific and clear, otherwise the patent office will not accept them. Even if the patent office does accept them, they must be defensible in court.
This article has described the requirements for getting a patent that works. This is the patent definition as determined by the US Congress. Patents do not exist without the laws and rules that govern them.
Learn more about the types of patents and their definition at Patent Definition.
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