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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Everybody, J.D. Houvener here, your managing partner at Bold Patents law firm. As a patent attorney, it’s my pleasure to share with you the knowledge that I’ve gained in my career here and some of the nuggets we picked up from other attorneys to the law firm and pass them to you here in the Bold Today’s Show.

Today we’re picking up on step two of the big process of how to patent your idea. So yesterday, we talked about, you know, getting the big sticking point, you know, among my pet peeves is using the word idea versus invention. So the way I’d like to recap reclassified this is actually, you know, how do I get a patent for my invention? So I’ll leave that with the previous session. If you missed it, hop on our website at boldip.com, you can check that video out. But today we’re talking about step two.

Okay, step two is should you even try to protect your invention? Okay, wow, interesting. Well, even if you’ve got that invention, you’ve got something you think is, you know, razzle-dazzle, has your hair standing up, should you even try? In other words, is it eligible? Does it fit within the statutory guidelines of the patent process?

There are only four major types of patents out there that are eligible under the utility statute. Those are machines, manufacturers, compositions of matter, and processes. Yeah, those are four. So machines and devices, that’s kind of what you think about everyday devices, things you can touch and feel. These are products, okay? Products that are, you know, you’ve seen on “As Seen on TV,” you know, the latest and greatest, you know, Apple device. Those are, those are manufacturer members, our actual products, okay?

So the second is very slow, very close, that’s called a manufacturer. Also to be thought of as an assembly. So if there are parts that are taken off the shelf or that are used from other parts that have already been created before but they’ve been put together, assembled in a unique way to provide a unique function, that’s the second category here called manufacturer.

The third is called the composition of matter, and this includes really anything, whether it be powders or liquids, solids. Usually, falls in the category for biotechnology, including pharmaceuticals. Anything that works sort of a mixture of atoms and elements that come together in a composition of matter, that’s this third category.

Last but not least is the process patents or methods. These are steps. These are sequential chronological steps that must be performed in that manner to produce a novel and functional output. So, thought, that’s it, that is the realm and the sphere of what’s eligible. Oftentimes, and we do have inventors come in with sort of thought about protecting their software. Software inventions are the most critical to be looked at in terms of eligibility because sometimes they can fall into what’s called abstract idea exception, and they’re not patent eligible. There’s only a few that are not patent eligible, but it’s important to take a look at your invention to see if it might be at risk of not being eligible and therefore you should make the decision to not do the patent process at all. And we can help you with trade secrets and copyrights and trademarks, but patents are just not going to be the way to go.

This is for those inventions that are just doing what we have always done right in human history: interact with humans, deal transactionally, but now you’re just doing it on a computer. So, at the very high level, that’s if that’s all your invention is, it’s not going to be patent eligible. You’ve got to go to show that there’s some added functionality, there’s added benefit from you being able to perform that on the computer. Okay, you’re using computing power, machine learning, some sort of artificial intelligence that’s adding, giving you additional speed, additional reliability or efficiencies. That’s exactly what you’ve got to put a show to the examiner in a way that’s novel, non-obvious, and has utility.

So hopefully, this is a straightforward enough step two, is making sure that you actually on the right track at all. Should you file? Should you even try to seek patent protection? It’s been my pleasure talking with you here today. I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today’s Show. Please get with us online at boldIP.com or give us a call

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 https://boldip.com/contact/