There are certain conditions subject matter has to meet for it to be considered eligible for a patent.

When people invent something in Texas, they can obtain a patent to protect their work. The International Trade Commission states that non-obvious, useful and new inventions can be granted a patent and once this occurs, the patent remains in effect for a period of 20 years. While those who invent something may be anxious to acquire a patent, they should keep in mind that subject matter has to meet certain conditions.

Conditions subject matter has to meet

The primary condition an invention has to meet is that it must be useful. Not only does the subject matter being patented have to serve a purpose, but in this context, it also has to work. For example, in order for a new machine to be granted a patent, it must be able to perform to meet its intended purpose.

For a patent to be considered non-obvious and new, the United States Patent and Trademark Office states that subject matter does not meet these two conditions if:

  • It was available for public use, described in a publication or available to the public in any way before the patent filing date
  • It was already described in a patent processed by the USPTO or in an existing patent application

Furthermore, the laws of nature, abstract ideas and physical phenomena as well as mere ideas or suggestions cannot be patented. For this reason, the invention or other subject matter must have a concrete description of how it will work or operate already in place before a patent can be obtained.

Applying for a patent

Either the inventor of the subject matter or a person the inventor assigns to apply for the patent can move forward with the process. Legal representatives of the inventor can also apply for a patent if he or she is deceased, but only if they are the executor or administrator of the estate.

If two people or a group of more than two people collaborate on an invention, they can state they are joint inventors when they apply for a patent. However, those who only make a financial contribution and do not contribute ideas cannot be considered an inventor on the patent application.

Reach out to an attorney

Inventors in Texas may have questions and concerns about whether or not their subject matter is considered eligible for a patent. Before beginning the application process, those in this situation should reach out to an attorney in their area for help determining if their invention is patentable.