What Can Be Patented in the US?

In the United States, patents can cover many things, including a machine, process, article of manufacture, or composition of matter. Here is a closer look at each of these categories. In general, you can patent anything that makes your life easier or saves you money. Listed below are some of the most common types of patents. Read on to find out more about each one and how to get started.


Not all processes can be patented, however. To be eligible, they must be new and useful. Identifying the factors that determine whether a process can be patented is a good starting point when developing a new process. This information will help you decide whether your new process is worth pursuing. In addition, you should understand the different levels of intellectual property protection available to you. Here are some examples of processes that are eligible for a patent.

A process can be patented if it changes material properties or functionality. A process patent is a great way to protect your invention from imitators. It also helps protect your hard work. It also gives you the advantage of being able to sell it to customers in the future. After all, who wants to give their products away? After all, they’ve paid for them. It’s time to make sure they stay that way!

Business method patents are available for both physical and digital objects. They’re both useful for businesses, especially those in the internet. Once your company has filed for a business method patent, the other party will not be able to copy it. However, if you’re the one doing the licensing, you can limit other companies from using the covered method. Then, you can license the process to others for a fee.


If a mathematical formula is used in a medical or scientific context, it’s possible that it will be deemed patentable. However, the question remains, can a mathematical formula be patented in the US? The case of Morse, for example, is an excellent example of the problem. In the case of Morse, the mathematics contained in claim 8 was not a mathematical formula, but instead referenced electro-magnetism.

The patent process involves several steps. First, you must have a clear understanding of what a patent covers. Patents can only be granted for useful inventions, which cannot be natural objects. Second, you cannot patent purely abstract concepts. This rule applies to mathematical formulas. Unless they are created by a person, they cannot be protected. But if you have a formula describing a process that can be done without the use of software, it’s a good candidate for a patent.

While the US courts have generally rejected software patents, this doesn’t mean mathematical formulas cannot be patented. In fact, abstract ideas are not patented, even though they are not abstract. This is a common problem, especially in patent cases involving computer software and business methods. Until now, there hasn’t been meaningful guidance on the topic. But this would help make the decisions more consistent and focus the patentability analysis.

Architectural building design

It is possible to patent an architectural building design in the US. Patents for buildings are stronger than copyrights because they can only be held by the original creator of the design. An architect might work with several designers on a project, but the idea is usually his own. For example, if you were to design a building, you might have a patent for the exterior design, but someone else could later come up with a similar design.

You can patent architectural building designs in the US if your design is a work of art, including its details and construction. The patent will last for fourteen years, after which the design can be modified or improved. A good photograph of a building is essential to patent your design. The pictures should accurately reproduce the design’s details. The photographs should be sufficiently high-resolution to protect the design. You should also have a copy of the original architectural drawing, and the copyright for that design should be purchased.

A copyright will protect an architectural building design when made for humans. However, it will not protect a bridge, cloverleaves, mobile homes, walkways, boats, recreational vehicles, or the configuration of spaces. Other works that fall under this category will not be protected. A patented work made by an individual architect will be protected for 95 years after its creation date or for 120 years after its publication.

Plant patents

A Plant Patent is a government-issued rights that grants a person the exclusive right to make, sell, import, or cultivate a certain plant. Plants can only be patented if they are asexually reproduced, but there is an exception for pollinated seeds. There are several steps in applying for a Plant Patent. In order to get the rights, applicants must first demonstrate that their plant is an improvement over existing varieties.

In order to qualify for a plant patent, the new variety must not be readily visible to the public. The USPTO issues plant patents to those who have discovered or invented a new strain of a plant. New varieties of a plant must be genetically and asexually reproducible. The new plant variety must be cultivated or discovered in nature, and it cannot have been created by a plant breeder.

A plant patent must be submitted within one year of the discovery. The USPTO will only grant a plant patent if the applicant submits a botanical description, drawings, and other requirements. Applicants are required to pay the patent fee and follow all requirements. If a plant is discovered by two people, then two named inventors can submit an application. A team effort can also grant a plant patent. But it’s important to note that the application process can be lengthy.

Laws of nature

Patent eligibility for new, useful inventions can be excluded if they are considered a “law of nature” or “natural phenomenon” – but not if they are merely an abstract idea. The Supreme Court has never cited any specific judicial definition of “law of nature” or “abstract idea,” but it appears that it may be the case. As a result, patents for these products are often contested.

Phytochemicals are analyzed in Example B. While the Guidance does not address the patentability of plasmids as a standalone entity, it says that a bacterium with two plasmids can be patented. Moreover, the bacterium must have a unique function conferred by the plasmids. Moreover, a method for treating a disease by using a natural phytochemical cannot be patented unless the process is restricted to a specific dosage regimen.

There is no legal precedent that allows patenting a law of nature. In the Supreme Court’s case in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., scientists found that the use of a law of nature was unpatentable. However, if the process had additional features that provide practical assurance that the process is not just a drafting effort, it would be patentable. The case also involved the thiopurine drugs for various autoimmune diseases. Since patients metabolize the drugs differently, they must find the appropriate dosage for each individual. Moreover, scientists recognized that the levels of the metabolites in the blood corresponded to efficacy and toxicity of the drugs.

Abstract ideas

Patents for computer systems and software have become increasingly difficult to obtain in the US, and abstract ideas are increasingly being rejected. The Alice decision by the US Supreme Court broadened the scope of what qualifies as an abstract idea, resulting in a dramatic increase in the rejection rate. While abstract ideas aren’t a defense to patent infringement, they do help to protect the original creator of an idea from others using it without their consent.

Patent eligibility is not limited to physical phenomena. The Patent Act SS 101 outlines exceptions for certain abstract ideas. Whether a claim is patentable depends on whether it is a genuine and novel invention that is capable of being fully described. Similarly, patentable ideas cannot be claims on obvious human transactions or activities. For these reasons, the USPTO has identified various categories of ideas and processes that qualify for patent protection.

Patent examiners are given new marching orders following the Alice/Mayo case. The new guidance, published on Jan. 4, is designed to provide patent examiners with a clearer understanding of what is an abstract idea and how to incorporate it into practical applications. While this guidance is designed to make it easier to patent an abstract idea, many patent examiners still apply it inconsistently. The new guidelines clarify the distinction between a patentable idea and an abstract concept and are expected to increase public trust in the patent system.