Is Your Discovery An Invention?
In order to be eligible for patent protection, United States patent law requires that an invention be:
- New or Novel: The invention must be demonstrably different from publicly available ideas, inventions, or products (so-called "prior art"). This does not mean that every aspect of an invention must be novel. For example, new uses of known processes, machines, compositions of matter and materials are patentable. Incremental improvements on known processes may also be patentable.
- Useful: The invention must have some application or utility or be an improvement over existing products and/or techniques.
- Non-Obvious: The invention cannot be obvious to a person of "ordinary skill" in the field; non-obviousness usually is demonstrated by showing that practicing the invention yields surprising, unexpected results.
Not all Report of Innovations (ROI) submitted to OTD are appropriate for patenting. OTD will work with you to determine the potential and patentability of any disclosed inventions.
In conjunction with the inventor(s) and possibly the input of a patent attorney, OTD Technology Development Associates will make an assessment of the wisdom of pursuing patent protection for a given invention. Associates make their determination based upon a number of factors, including:
- The invention is competitively superior and commercially viable.
- OTD recognizes a well-defined market for the invention.
- OTD, or innovator, are in contact with a company or companies expressing an interest in licensing and developing the invention.
- Prior art search reveals no impediment to successfully prosecuting a patent.
- OTD has an obligation to the sponsor of the research leading to the invention with regard to patenting.