Patent Requirements – Novelty, Nonobviousness, and Utility

Utility, which of the following is a requirement for getting a patent for an invention? The requirement that an invention be new and nonobvious applies to utility patents, not design patents. The USPTO makes decisions on the nonobviousness issue, and patent applicants must prove their invention meets these requirements. There are some common mistakes that inventors make when preparing a patent application.


To qualify for a patent, an invention must be novel and useful. Novelty means that it has not been previously described, published, used in the public, or offered for sale. The only exception is if the invention was patented in the United States. Before it can be patented, it must be in an application filed under section 151 of the Patent Act of 1952.

The novelty requirement is one of the most important hurdles to patentability. It involves subjective judgment, but must be met to ensure that the invention is truly new. Unlike in the U.S., where any item can qualify for a patent, an invention must not have been published in the public before applying for a patent. This means that the inventor must have performed a thorough research and development process to come up with a functional design for their invention.

The novelty requirement applies to new products as well as existing inventions. Public disclosure refers to inventions that have already been used by the public, patented by another party, or in development. Public disclosure can also be a reason for rejection of novelty and utility. Several companies have invented products that have not been useful or needed to anyone else. However, if at least one person finds the product useful, the inventor will still have enough evidence to file a patent.

In the past, the royal prerogative could grant patents. If a king produced stained glass, the king could grant a patent to it, which would prevent other stained glass makers from making the product. Eventually, the monopoly system stifled productivity and was abolished in England. Likewise, the framers of the United States Constitution wanted to protect American citizens from such situations. Because of these concerns, the novelty requirement is the foundation for patentability.

While novelty is a prerequisite for a patent in the United States, the novelty requirement is not universal. In major Western European countries, it is not required for the invention to be completely new; patents must be filed before prior art activity is publicly available. Otherwise, the patent will not be granted. Moreover, the patent must be filed before public disclosure or any commercial activity that involves it.


The Non-obviousness requirement for a patent is a complicated concept that has not been firmly established in patent law. The question of what is obvious and what is not is a fact that has been under debate since the earliest patent laws were enacted. While patent courts generally agree that the invention must not be obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art, they do not have a consensus on what qualifies as “ordinary” or “unique.” While advanced academic degrees and years of experience are factors in determining whether a certain invention is patentable, they do not establish that person to be “ordinary.”

The current standard for determining whether an invention is obvious is called the POSITA test. In this test, the inventor must demonstrate that the new invention is more than a “logical increment” over an existing invention. In order to determine if a product or process is obvious, the USPTO considers the POSITA standard (a typical scientist or engineer who has expertise in the subject area of the invention). For example, a non-obvious invention may be as simple as substituting a known element in a prior art system.

If a product or invention is not obvious, the non-obviousness requirement can be applied if the inventor is unable to demonstrate that the product or process does not meet the requisite distance from the prior art. In the past, the POS requirement has weakened the requirement for non-obviousness, but the new standard in KSR v. Teleflex clarified this standard.

As an example, a product or process that is not obvious can be patented, provided that the invention is new and useful. This can be accomplished by combining the use of a particular ingredient with another ingredient. If this is not possible, the invention can still qualify as a patentable idea. This is the first step towards patentability. But it’s important to note that the USPTO is interpreting the term “analogous” quite broadly.


To obtain a patent for an invention, you must prove its utility. This requirement comes from 35 U.S.C. SS101, which requires that an invention be useful for a specific purpose. Your invention can’t just be a new way to fix a leaky faucet, for example. It must actually solve a problem in the present day. This doesn’t mean that it needs to be better than an existing product – it just needs to solve a current problem.

To protect your invention, you must file a utility patent application with the USPTO. The patent examiner will examine your application to determine whether it meets all the requirements for a patent. In particular, the patent examiner will look at whether or not your invention is useful, novel, and not obvious. The process of obtaining a utility patent varies depending on where you live. It can take anywhere from two to five years to receive your utility patent.

There are exceptions to the utility requirement. Some products are inoperable and do not work at all. In such cases, you can meet the utility requirement by describing the product in detail and explaining its function and use. For instance, a perpetual motion machine would not meet the utility requirement. Other patents, such as those published under section 152(b), may not meet the utility requirement if they are named to another inventor. A patent that names a second inventor must have been filed before the effective filing date to meet the utility requirement.

To register a utility model, you must meet the formal requirements for a patent application and satisfy the basic requirements. Once your utility model is registered, you have the right to commercially work on the model. You may also seek an injunction or compensation for damages and unfair profits if others infringe on your rights. A utility model can also be registered without undergoing substantive examination. So, if you believe your invention is unique, be sure to file a utility model application.

To obtain a patent for an invention, you must prove that your claimed invention is useful in the present and has a sound theoretical basis. If your invention is in the manufacturing industry, it might be eligible for a patent based on past success. However, a drug may not receive a patent because of the lack of scientific backing. Only utility-based patents require a substantial amount of research before they are issued.

Written description

The written description is required for a patent application and is a key part of the application process. It serves as the applicant’s evidence of the invention, including any relevant identifying characteristics. These characteristics may include the complete or partial structure, other physical or chemical properties, and/or functional characteristics, when they are coupled with known relationships between structure and function. For example, a chemical compound may be regarded as an invention if it is more efficient to use in a given environment.

The written description inquiry must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the particulars of the claim. In Pfaff v. Wells Elec., Inc., the Court referred to a concept as “substantially complete.” The requirement of a reduction to practice was upheld as the most reliable evidence of completeness. However, a written description is not required in every case.

The written description requirement must be met even if an amendment changes the claims. While reciting a subgenus or species that is not disclosed violates the written description requirement, an amendment to the specification may not obstruct the validity of the claimed invention. The Federal Circuit has held that a claim may not be invalidated if it violates the written description requirement because it does not describe the subgenus or its range.

If a claim is not properly supported by the written description, the applicant may amend the abstract, specification, or drawings to make it more specific. The written description may also include information that is not included in the application. The written description does not have to be a long document; however, it must be complete to meet the patentability requirement. The Office is the ultimate decision maker on whether a claim is patentable.

In addition to the claims, a patent applicant must provide a detailed written description of the claimed invention. The written description must also describe how the invention was reduced to practice, drawings, or a structural chemical formula. The applicant must also provide information about any identifying characteristics that might allow an ordinary person to identify the invention by its function. Finally, the written description must demonstrate that the invention is in the possession of the applicant.