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The Three Elements of Patentability

Patents are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) after a careful review of applications. The essential criteria of a patent dictates that the invention is useful, unique and non-obvious. Here’s a deeper look at the three elements of patentability and why patent consulting can help.

1. Must Have Utility

Your invention may get accepted if you can prove that it has a useful purpose, but it will likely get rejected if it’s difficult to identify some type of utility. Many inventions are created which don’t truly serve a practical purpose. It’s important to note that there are several kinds of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. Usually, when referring to a patent for a new invention, individuals are referring to utility patents. If your invention is merely decorative, you’re better off applying for a design patent. You will have a better chance at approval if you work with patent professionals who research your concept to help you effectively convey the practical utility of the invention.

2. Based on a Novel Concept

The invention must be original, although it can be an improvement on an earlier product. In order to find out how unique your invention is, you need to conduct a thorough patent search to check for prior art that may already encompass your ideas. Usually the more novel and unique, the better chance you’ll have at getting your invention approved. You are allowed to resubmit an application for a rejected invention after you’ve made adjustments so that the prototype differs from any existing patents.

3. Cannot Be Obvious

Finally, your new idea cannot be something that anyone could have easily imagined. For example, an obvious fix to clear up air pollution is taking action to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. So you cannot patent a generic machine called a “pollution reducer” with vague details about how it works and what it does. Once a trend becomes big, such as smartphones, you cannot just invent a “nextgen supersmartphone” that’s simply faster and more efficient.

The best way to convince a reviewer that your invention is non-obvious is to provide detailed drawings that clarify the device’s specific components and functions, clearly illustrating why it’s different from what’s already available within the patent landscape. Ideally, your invention solves an existing problem in society, making it stand out as a new solution to an old issue. Working with an experienced patent expert will help you provide detailed descriptions on how your invention fills a market void.


Filing for a patent should be done with caution since it involves following details precisely. You should first consider patent consulting to research whether or not your idea has already been taken. It can help you avoid costly litigation as well as point you toward your best approach for gaining patents for valuable intellectual property. To learn more about best practices for a patent application, contact us at Global Patent Solutions.