A patent application is examined on three major criteria:
patentable subject matter, novelty, and inventiveness.
Patentable Subject Matter
Abstract Idea / Natural Phenomenon
To be patentable, the claimed subject matter must NOT be
an abstract idea or natural phenomenon. An example of an
abstract idea could be a mental process of solving a
mathematical problem. An example of a natural phenomenon
could be a naturally occurring (unmodified) DNA sequence.
Business Method and Software
A business method, such as a method of managing an
investment portfolio, a way of conducting commercial
activities (e.g. online auction), and a scheduling
procedure of freight shipments, is often viewed by many
patent offices as an abstract idea, and thus not
Nonetheless, cleverly-drafted patent claims defining a
business method in terms of machine instructions being
executed by computers sometime can persuade an examiner
Similarly, software inventions face the same challenge.
However, hundreds of thousands of software patent
applications continue to be filed every year with many
granted patents. Software remains to be one of the most
dynamic and innovative technology areas, and patentees
find software patents highly valuable.
Medicine and Medical Treatment
By public policy, certain medicines and medical treatments
are barred from patenting in some countries, notably China
and many European countries. Again, specifically-styled
patent claims are still permissible.
We are experienced in drafting these special claims,
increasing the patentability of your unique and valuable
Having novelty means the claimed subject matter must have
never been sold, offered for sale, or publicly disclosed
by anyone before its patent application’s priority date.
The US provides a grace period of one year, so that one
can still be eligible for a US patent if she files her
patent application in the US within one year of the public
disclosure (by the applicant/inventor herself).
The claimed subject matter must not be obvious in view of
the prior art. A simple combination of existing
technologies is considered to be obvious, thus such
subject matter does not possess inventiveness to be
patentable. On the other hand, repurposing of an existing
technology is patentable in some technological fields
(i.e. pharmaceuticals and chemicals).
We can work with you to determine how your inventive ideas
can be best protected by a patent.