What Can I Patent?
You can patent a product, a machine, a process (or method), or a composition of matter (e.g., a chemical composition). Within the last 20 years it was also determined that you could patent a method of doing business, although these so-call “business method patents” have come under serious scrutiny and their long-term viability is in doubt.
People will often want to know whether they can patent an improvement on an existing product. The answer is yes, as long as the improvement is not an “obvious” adaptation of the original. For patent attorneys, arguing with a patent examiner whether something is “obvious” is where the rubber meets the road.
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