Last Published: 7/7/2016

Utility patents are provided for a new, non-obvious and useful:

  • Processes
  • Machines
  • Articles of manufacture
  • Compositions of matter
  • Improvements of any of the above

In addition to utility patents, encompassing one of the categories above, patent protection is available for (1) ornamental design of an article of manufacture or (2) asexually reproduced plant varieties by design and plant patents.

A patentable invention must also be:

  • Novel
  • Non-obvious
  • Adequately described or enabled (for one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention)
  • Claimed by the inventor in clear and definite terms

The following cannot be patented:

  • Laws of nature
  • Physical phenomena
  • Abstract ideas
  • Literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works (these can be copyright protected)
  • Inventions which are not useful (such as perpetual motion machines), or offensive to public morality

Visit USPTO's website for more information on determining whether your inventions is patentable.