Patent Glossary

Bounty: a reward offered for a piece of fugitive information.

Bounty Hunters: information holders and sharers. People who respect and appreciate the power and value of knowledge. With BountyQuest, Bounty Hunters can harness their knowledge in order to actualize both its power and its value. Read more

Patent Basics: Subject Matter

In order to be patentable, a patent application must cover patentable subject matter. What counts is pretty broad: articles of manufacture, compositions, devices, processes, business methods, software, genes, and many other items. In fact, one court described patentable subject matter as “anything under the sun made by man.” What counts as patentable subject matter has expanded and shrunk over time. Right now, we are at a high water mark for patentability, with algorithms, software, business methods, and the human genome all pushing the boundaries. Read more

Patent Basics: Utility

Patent law is designed to promote innovation in “science and useful arts.” It’s right there in the first Article of the Constitution: in order to be patentable, an invention needs to be useful in some way. Read more

Patent Basics: Nonobviousness

For a patent to issue, the invention must not only be new and useful, it must be “nonobvious.” Unlike the concepts of novelty or utility, you probably don’t have an immediate, intuitive notion of what nonobviousness really is. First of all, isn’t it difficult to define something by what it isn’t? And nonobvious to whom? Read more

Patent Basics: Novelty or Newness

Novelty is one of the basic requirements of the patent statute. In order for a patent to issue, the invention must be new. You might think you know what “new” means. Who doesn’t, right? It’s pretty straightforward, right? Right? Read more

What is a patent?

Patents have a long history in the United States, dating all the way back to the drafting of the Constitution. The U.S. Constitution allows Congress to grant patent protection in Article I, Section 8: “The Congress shall have power… to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to …inventors the exclusive right to their discoveries.” Read more