In the 1980’s, a high profile Supreme Court case (Diamond v. Chakrabarty) concluded that “anything under the sun made by man” should qualify for patent coverage in the United States.  Since that time, we have seen a wide variety of patents being allowed including patents on genetically modified organisms, gene sequences, computer software, and even business methods.   The United States Patent Office (USPTO) is very liberal in determining what can be patented compared to most other patent offices around the world.

In order to qualify for a patent, an invention must meet three basic hurdles which are; (1) the invention must contain patent eligible subject matter (for example the invention must be man-made and not naturally occurring), (2) the invention must be new, useful, and not-obvious, and (3) the invention must be explained in enough detail so that other people can reproduce the invention without a lot of guess work.   Many people will be surprised to learn that you don’t have to include any data or evidence supporting your idea in a patent.  It is frequently the case that a person will find patents on inventions years before they are actually made or physically reduced to practice.

Many argue that the patent office’s liberal stance on patent eligibility allows for poor quality patents that only hinder innovation and do not serve the public’s best interest.  Supporters of the patent system argue that strong and enforceable patents on a wide range of inventions (including business method patents) are needed and without them it would be difficult to find companies and investors willing fund technology development.
Learn how to patent an idea here

Can I patent my idea? was last modified: October 3rd, 2013 by Brad Fach
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Free USPTO Provisional Patent Template

My personal provisional patent template used to file over 200 patent applications with the USPTO