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Is it Patentable?
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   Is it possible to patent just an idea?
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   Author  Topic: Is it possible to patent just an idea?  (Read 2339 times)
John Smith
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Is it possible to patent just an idea?
« on: Dec 13th, 2005, 8:08pm »
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Is it possible to patent an idea such as say a spaceship that goes to space but not actually being able to make or produce it?
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Wiscagent
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Re: Is it possible to patent just an idea?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 13th, 2005, 9:02pm »
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Your idea is not novel, so it is not patentable.
 
On October 4, 1957 the USSR launched Sputnik I into orbit.
 
Is your name John Smith or Rip Van Winkle?
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Richard Tanzer
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JimIvey
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Re: Is it possible to patent just an idea?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 14th, 2005, 10:02am »
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Let's assume for the sake of argument ("aguendo" in lawyer-speak) that your idea is sufficiently specific to be novel and non-obvious -- e.g., a specific type of spaceship that's novel and non-obvious.
 
Getting past that hurdle, the answer is:  Yes, it's possible, sort of.
 
You don't actually have to be able to make and use the thing yourself.  But, you do have to be able to describe your idea in sufficient detail that an ordinary spaceship builder (seems like a bit of an oxymoron to me, but I'll continue) can make and use the spaceship from your description.
 
If you can't make that description, no patent.  Well, in theory, no patent.  Patent examiners generally aren't rocket scientists (literally, anyway).  So, they may not be able to determine whether you've met that standard.  So, you may end up with a patent that can be successfully challenged in court.
 
If you want enforceable patent rights, make sure you can describe the idea sufficiently.
 
Regards.
 
P.S.  Actually, now that I think about it, I bet some patent examiners actually are rocket scientists.  At least, the level of ordinary skill doesn't seem to come up much in my applications.
« Last Edit: Dec 14th, 2005, 10:04am by JimIvey » IP Logged

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James D. Ivey
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Wiscagent
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Re: Is it possible to patent just an idea?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 14th, 2005, 11:02am »
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Jim is correct, as usual.  He focused on the requirements of 35 USC 112.
 
And pardon my “Rip Van Winkle” sarcasm.  The point I was trying to make is that “spaceship that goes to space” is not novel.  The novelty requirement to which I referred is found in section 102 of 35 USC.
 
Additionally section 101 of the patent code excludes “abstract ideas, laws of nature and natural phenomena.” from being patented. [MPEP 2106]  Arguably, a “spaceship that goes to space” isn’t even a statutory invention; it is just an abstract idea.
 
Richard Tanzer
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Richard Tanzer
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Re: Is it possible to patent just an idea?
« Reply #4 on: Feb 6th, 2006, 4:02pm »
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So if I had a concept with pictures and an indepth explination on what my idea is. However, I don't know what exact materials are used but talked to a software designer that said it can technically be made. Can I get a patent?
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