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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

JD: Here’s a question on the patent side. Can someone get a patent for something that is a combination of two existing things? For example, suppose I combine a remote control and a plastic helmet to create a plastic helmet with an embedded remote control.

JD: I love this question. It’s quite interesting! Combining two objects like a remote control and a plastic helmet to create a new product is a fun idea.

JD: The short answer is yes, you can get a patent for that kind of combination. The key question will be whether it is obvious to combine those two things. Has there been any publication, patent, or demonstration by someone in the field showing that this combination is feasible or obvious? If someone skilled in the art of inventing remotes or helmets could easily think of combining these two, then it might be considered obvious and not patentable.

JD: However, if there’s no prior evidence or publication suggesting this combination, then it is possible to obtain a patent for it.

JD: One thing to keep in mind is the difference between getting a patent and selling the product. Let’s say you successfully get a patent for your remote control helmet. You may still need to obtain licenses from the owners of patents on the individual components, such as the remote control or the helmet, to legally sell your product. This is an important consideration because combining multiple technologies can lead to potential infringement issues.

JD: So, while you can potentially get a patent on the combination, ensuring you have the freedom to operate in the market without infringing on existing patents is another crucial step.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at