Are you wondering whether your idea is valuable enough to qualify for a patent? If so, you should consider the government’s guidelines. To get a patent, an invention must meet certain criteria, which include being new, not obvious, and not a combination of several previous inventions. In addition, there are some special requirements for patents. For example, clothing and footwear can be patented if they are functional, not just decorative. Read on to learn about these criteria.

Inventors must meet certain government guidelines to get a patent

To obtain a patent, an inventor must first show that their invention is new and useful. It must also be described in a way that other people could use it. The inventor should not publicly disclose their invention prior to filing the patent application, as doing so could be considered prior art. Prior art can prevent the issuance of a patent. The inventor’s household income cannot exceed 300% of the federal poverty level. The entrepreneur’s income cannot exceed 300% of the federal poverty level, unless he/she is running a small business.

The process of getting a patent requires the inventor to document the entire invention process, including the development of the prototype. The inventor must be able to describe the product or process in detail, and date their entries. The invention must be new and distinct from previous inventions. Inventors must also be willing to provide a prototype of the product or process, if necessary. The process can be lengthy, but it’s well worth the effort.


To get a patent for your invention, you need to satisfy three basic requirements. These requirements are novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability. Each of these requirements is fairly abstract, but it is crucial to meet them as closely as possible. To make your patent application as strong as possible, you should consider the following tips. Read on to learn more. We hope these tips will help you with your next invention. Novelty is crucial for any patent.

Novelty means that no one else has come up with the idea or product before. It must have not been made available in any way, including local newspaper publications, trade fairs, or even PowerPoint presentations given to the general public. The only exception to this rule is the United States. Your invention cannot be patented if it is not new. Performing a novelty search will reveal whether your idea is novel. By conducting a novelty search, you’ll be able to write more thorough claims.

Another important factor is how much time you need to wait before filing your patent application. Several countries have a grace period of six months, but in the U.S., you must submit your application within six months after it’s published. While there’s no need to wait that long, the process can be lengthy and expensive if you don’t file your application on time. And remember to avoid the common pitfalls!


How do you show that your invention is not obvious? To begin, you need to conduct a patentability search. The goal is to elicit the closest prior art and use this to tell your story of inventiveness and avoidance. Your story should explain what problem the invention addresses and how it improves upon prior attempts. The invention may be entirely new and improve upon an existing technology or a problem. Here are some strategies to help you make your story compelling.

Patentability is determined by the PHOSITA’s risk of discovering the claimed invention. The risk of discovering the invention is weighed against its potential benefits. The goal of the patent process is to protect the public from copycats. Therefore, it is crucial to show that the benefits of non-obviousness outweigh the costs of monopoly. If your invention is not obvious, then it may not qualify for patent protection.

In the United States, a patent may be issued only if the inventor demonstrates the non-obviousness of the invention. The examiner’s decision on this factor should be based on practical considerations and should be able to withstand rebuttal. The burden of proof for non-obviousness varies depending on the circumstances of the case. If the examiner has no grounds for denying patentability, the examiner may be inclined to shade the judgment in favor of the applicant.

Non-combination with other inventions

Patents based on combination inventions are more difficult to obtain than single-invention patents. However, patent attorneys and agencies can help an inventor obtain a patent. Since KSR v. Teleflex narrowed the definition of “obvious,” a combination patent is more difficult to obtain. New standards have been developed since the case of Teleflex, which require that an invention be new or innovative within its field.

Patent examination guidelines from the EPO and KIPO refer to the “synergistic effect” of a combined set of prior documents. While this guideline is not mandatory, it is important to note that combined prior documents are viewed from a broader perspective. Thus, patent examiners may consider the synergistic effect when considering whether an invention is new and inventive. It is also important to note that if elements are already present in an art, they cannot be found independently.

Patents based on combination inventions are becoming more common. In the last decade, 77% of all patents issued worldwide were a combination of two technologies. This trend indicates that inventions are becoming increasingly complex. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, half of the patents were single-inventions. However, the number of inventions coding by combination shows a steady increase in the complexity of inventions.


Abstractness is an important issue in patent prosecution. The Federal Circuit has applied the abstract idea inquiry over 100 times. The original definition of abstractness was narrower, limiting the term to financial transactions and computer-implemented business methods. Today, the term can be used to describe a range of inventions, from network-controlled electric car charging stations to garage door openers. The Federal Circuit has provided guidance on the limits of the “abstract idea” exclusion.

In 2014, the Alice Court implemented a two-step test to determine whether an invention is truly abstract. The Alice/Mayo test looks at a claim to determine whether it is directed to an abstract idea or a patent-ineligible concept. The test also looks at whether it contains an inventive concept. However, the Federal Circuit did not adopt this test as a rigid formula. It simply encouraged courts to adopt other limiting criteria to further the Patent Act.

Another example is the concept of a “mental process” that is akin to an abstract idea. The courts have characterized many product claims as reciting mental processes. For example, in Versata Dev. Group. v. SAP Am., Inc., 115 USPQ2 1681, a court found that an abstract idea could be claimed as a computer system. This case highlights the importance of focusing on specific computing technologies to avoid being classified as abstract ideas.

Design patents

In the U.S., you can apply for a design patent up to 12 months after you publicly disclose the design, so you can test it and gain feedback from others before filing. In many foreign countries, however, there is no grace period. In these jurisdictions, disclosure of your design before filing a patent application may result in your design being deemed obvious and unpatentable. In addition, your design patent protection does not start on the date you file, but on the date you are granted the patent.

Design patents offer significant advantages for the patent holder, especially if your design is functional. It is very difficult to patent an entire product with only one claim. In some cases, multiple applications can protect the same design without requiring proof of copyright infringement. The key to proving infringement is identifying exactly what the copyright infringer “copied” from you. It’s also often difficult to prove that you copied someone else’s design.

A design patent application must have a claim referring to the article to which the design is applied or embodied. The claim should be consistent with the title of the invention. Moreover, you must include an adequate number of images to illustrate the design. In the US, design patents are more likely to be granted than utility patents, but they are more difficult to obtain. A design patent application must be filed by a company or individual who wants to protect its design.

Infringement defenses

Infringement defenses are common and include invalidity, use of known technology, and lack of inventive concept. A plaintiff must show that the defendant infringed the patent claim to win. For a patent to be valid, the defendant must have known about the product or process for a reasonable period of time. A product or process that contains all of the patent claim’s elements is not infringed unless the product or method is also similar.

If the accused continues to make the product in question, the court must hold them to the scope and scale of their original operations. The most common defense for this is limiting the accused’s operations to the original scope. This is not an appealing strategy, but it does work. This defense, however, is not the best option if the defendant continues to use the process that has been patented, and it is not likely that the defendant will cease its infringement once the lawful use ceases.

In addition to patent infringement cases, the courts have also ruled that defendants can’t sue for infringement if they haven’t complied with the requirements for proving willful intent. Although patent infringement claims generally have a six-year statute of limitations, the court has ruled that in some cases a defendant may only collect monetary damages after the patent is issued. This is an important limitation for a defendant, because it limits his or her ability to collect monetary damages.