Understanding Some Legal Patent Basics

3 August 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog


If you have a machine that you have invented or if you have worked to incorporate a new process into an already existing mechanical device, then it is wise to file a mechanical patent with the United States Patent Office. While mechanical patents require a specific application, like other types of patents, you will need to make sure that your device passes some of the more basic requirements of the patent office. Keep reading to learn a bit about these requirements. 

It Must Meet Statutory Requirements

The United States has a very broad definition of an invention and thus it allows for a wide variety of different types of things that can be patentable. However, the invention must follow legal statutes and fall under four specific categories. If it does not fall into one of them, then you cannot patent it. These categories include material objects, machines, a process to make something, and articles to manufacture. 

While these categories may seem as though it would include almost everything, there are a few things that are not covered. For example, music and arrangements of data are not things that are patentable. Also, a type of data that is not directly linked to a physical machine that is also being patented cannot be claimed. In this example, your mechanical patent should include any data or programming that you want to protect with the machine patent itself.

You should know that there have been some legal rulings in relation to abstract ideas and other things that fall outside the statutory categories. If you feel that there is a chance that your mechanical device or its accessories or ideas may not be patentable, then speak with an attorney.

It Must Be New

There is something called a novelty requirement when it comes to the patent. In other words, the device, object, or machine must be a new one. This means that individuals did not know about the device before you decided to patent it. In other words, the average person should know nothing of the device and there should be no question that it is something that you have created independently.

Also, the invention needs to be something that was new outlined in a publication and there should not be a patent for the same invention filed before your own. Basically, the machine needs to be original to yourself and the patent and its filing date can actually serve as the proof that your device was invented by you. This is one reason why it is wise to get your machine patent application in as soon as possible. If the intricacies of the process are confusing to you, then reach out to an attorney, like those at Sheri Higgins Law, who can offer assistance.