This information is for non-professionals trying to acquaint themselves using the fundamentals of patent types and patentability needs. This information is Part II of the four part series. Parts III and IV follows in biweekly payments, and can address Design Patents and Plant Patents, correspondingly.
Utility patents are the most typical kind of patent, and they are what laypersons are often mentioning to while using the word "patent." To have an invention to become patented, a product must fulfill three conditions: 1) it has to possess utility, 2) it should be novel, and three) it should be non-apparent. Thomas & Betts v. Panduit Corp. 138 F.three dimensional 277, 283 (1998) see generally Kewanee Oil Co. v. Bicron Corp., 416 U.S. 470, 480 (1974). Individuals inventions meeting such the weather is granted patent protection, which provides the inventor a twenty year monopoly around the manufacture or exploitation from the device. Id.
The Utility Requirement:
From the three needs of patentability, the utility requirement may be the cheapest bar and it is easily met. Typically, utility can be used to avoid the patenting of inoperative products for example perpetual motion machines (i.e.: a piece of equipment that is constantly on the move indefinitely without having to be driven or assisted by an exterior energy source). For making a rejection according to insufficient utility, the examiner will, whenever you can, provide documentary evidence to aid the finding. MPEP Section 2107(II)(C). If documentary evidence isn't available, the examiner will show you with specificity the scientific basis for factual conclusions. Id.
Particularly, the USPTO's Manuel of Patent Analyzing Procedure (the "MPEP") mandates that a patent application express a particular and substantial utility. MPEP Section 2107(II)(B)(1)(i). This MPEP excludes "throw-away," "insubstantial," or "nonspecific" utilities. For example, declaring that the complex invention is helpful as landfill won't fulfill the utility requirement. Id. However, when the applicant claims the stated invention is helpful for just about any particular practical purpose (i.e.: the stated invention includes a "specific and substantial utility"), and also the assertion could be considered credible with a person of regular skill within the art, the examiner have to get the utility requirement continues to be met. MPEP Section 2107(II)(B)(1). In addition, even even without the this kind of assertion, if anytime throughout the examination it might be readily apparent the stated invention includes a well-established utility, the examiner have to get the utility requirement continues to be met. MPEP Section 2107(II)(A)(3). An invention includes a well-established utility if (i) an individual of regular skill within the art would immediately appreciate why the invention is helpful in line with the qualities from the invention (e.g., qualities or programs of the product or process), and (ii) the utility is specific, substantial, and credible. Id.
The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 clearly excludes the patenting of inventions helpful exclusively in the effective use of special nuclear material or atomic energy within an atomic weapon. 42 U.S.C. Section 2181(a).