What types of invention are patentable?

Patentable Inventions Patent Law Intellectual Property

What types of invention are patentable?

Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or compositions of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.

Such an invention must fall within one of four main classes of inventions to be patentable:

It may be a process (such as a method for manufacturing a product);

It may be machine;

It may be an article of manufacture; or

It may be a composition of matter which relates to chemical compositions, including mixtures of ingredients and new chemical compounds.

Recently, courts have affirmed that certain computer software is patentable.

Design patents may be granted to any person who has invented a new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. The appearance of the article is thus protected.

Plant patents may be granted to any person who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber-propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.

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