Are you thinking of patenting your invention? You may be worried about whether your patent application will be rejected. The United States government grants patents to encourage inventors to create things to benefit humanity.

However, it’ll reject patent applications that don’t fit patent criteria. Aside from doing the paperwork incorrectly, a patent may be rejected if…

it’s not an invention. An invention is a new composition, process, or device. It’s conceived in the imagination, fabricated from materials, and doesn’t already exist in nature. For example, sapphires aren’t an invention, since they exist in nature. Therefore, lab-created sapphires can’t be patented. However, the process of creating sapphires in a lab doesn’t exist in nature and has been patented.

…it can’t be patented. Things found in nature can’t be patented, such as plants, animals, and minerals. Scientific, mathematical, or medicinal discoveries or methods, works of art, and ideas also can’t be patented. To do so would discourage others from creating things that benefit society.

…it’s not novel. Novel is another word for new, and when it comes to patents, novelty is of utmost importance. You must ensure that no one has patented your invention or an invention so similar to yours that they could be the same thing. You also can’t patent something already available to the public.

…it’s obvious. Obviousness and novelty aren’t the same things, though they’re similar. Something is obvious if someone working in the field where the invention would be used in could easily substitute a known feature and come up with your invention.

…it’s not useful. The privilege that comes with patenting is given to those who invent something useful to humanity. Anyone could invent anything, but if it has no discernible usefulness, then it can’t be patented. Abstract ideas, natural phenomena and mathematical formulae can’t be patented.

Worried that your patent application may be rejected? We have created this free Patent Process Flowchart to help you better understand the patent process. Our patent attorneys can help. We are here to offer advice, and if we feel you have a patentable idea, we can help you through the patent process. To schedule a consultation either virtually or at our Austin Patent law firm, contact (512) 746-7963.