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Patentability Checklist

I. Checklist for Utility Patents

A. Is the utility invention:

  • a process or method?
  • a machine?
  • an article of manufacture?
  • a composition of matter? or

  • an improvement of an invention that fits within one of the first four categories?

B. Is the utility invention:

  • useful? (even some trivial usefulness satisfies the utility requirement)
  • novel? (that is, different from all previous inventions in some important way)
  • nonobvious? (is it a surprising and significant development to somebody who understands the technical field of the invention?)

II. Checklist for Design Patents

A. Is the design invention:

  • novel? (that is, different from all previous inventions in some important way)
  • nonobvious? (is it a surprising and significant development to somebody who understands the technical field of the invention?)
  • nonfunctional? (as distinguished from a utility patent)

III. Checklist for Plant Patents

A. Is the plant invention:
  • novel? (that is, different from all previous inventions in some important way)
  • nonobvious? (is it a surprising and significant development to somebody who understands the technical field of the invention?)
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