What is Patentable?

what is patentable

Most patent laws around the world has four main determinants in order to satisfy patentability. They are :


The invention must not be known before you file your application. In general, a patent application for an invention should be filed before the invention has been disclosed to the public. Anything that is disclosed will be considered "prior art" which will be taken into account when considering whether the claimed invention meets the requirements of being new or being novel. However, some countries do not adhere to this requirement as they often give a "grace period" for prior disclosure before filing.

Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Canada, South Korea and the United States allow twelve months of grace period. Russian Federation and Eurasia and sometime Japan offer a grace period of six months. The person who is allowed to disclose is normally the inventor. Third parties are not allowed to disclose. Some European countries do allow grace periods but usually for utility models which do not require an inventive step. For countries that does not practise grace period, a brief prior description might not term as a prior art especially when the description does not contain enough details.

Inventive Step

The inventive step condition is used to find out if the patent is in fact for a new item or just an obvious improvement on an existing item.

Americans normally refer to the inventive step as the "non-obviousness clause."

In order to determine whether there is an inventive step or not, the best method is to ask a person skilled in the art as to what is obvious. An inventive step is normally non-obvious to the person skilled in the art and is normally differ from what is already known. However, if there is a new way of combining known methods or objects, it does not mean that it is patentable.

Industrial Applicability

In order to be patentable, an invention must be industrially applicable. Creating something new isn't enough to earn a patent. The invention must have utility. You must also state in your specification on how it can be made use of by the industry. An invention is considered industrially applicable if it can be produced or utilized in any kind of industry. "Industry" should be taken on the broader sense, including things like activities, transport, hunting, agricultural, public services and medical services. However, things like a perpetual motion machine are not patentable because it goes against the law of thermodynamics.