Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property)

Q: Hello, I'm looking to patent a product. I've seen something similar however I'd like clarification, then will patent

I'm looking to patent a biodegradable portable charger for cell phones. I've seen some disposable charger patents however I'd like to clarify if I were to have a different product that essentially can be disposable, if I can patent it in a different way. If possible I'm happy to work with the lawyer that reaches back out.

Thank you

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: One of the hurdles for a patent claim is to show that it is new and thus does not cover anything that has already existed in reality or on paper. That is not the hardest hurdle.

The hurdle that is the toughest is whether the changes from what previously existed to what you disclose would be deemed obvious to a hypothetical expert in that field who is not inventive. Would this person with all necessary skills and experience be able to view every relevant bit of information that existed since the beginning of recorded time and find a way to make what you disclose? By the way, the hypothetical expert (one of ordinary skill in the art) knows all languages so that is not a barrier to combine references from different parts of the world.

I do not know all relevant prior art so I do not know whether you will be able to surpass the obviousness hurdle. What you have sounds promising but you may want to do some preliminary searching using free tools and some search tips from my slide set. (There are links to other slide sets at )

If you want to see a broader set of patent examples that show my style when seeking patents, you can see some here.

The patent process is expensive so you want to think twice before starting down that route. It seems to be a waste to do this halfheartedly and spend half the money and reduce the likelihood of getting a commercially meaningful patent.

If you found this answer helpful, you may want to look at my answers to other questions about patent law are available at the bottom of my profile page at

Kevin E Flynn

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Moorestown, NJ

A: Congratulations on designing a biodegradable portable cell phone charger. There are hundreds of millions or billions of cell phones which use this product, and the market demands that products are biodegradable, so it sounds like that you are sitting on a goldmine.

Given that no cell phone chargers in the market currently are biodegradable, I'd think that your charger is drastically different from the existing chargers. If you really did come up with new chemistry and new design of the charger, then it is very likely that your invention is patentable.

I'll be happy to work with you on this, but since you did not leave any contact information, you are going to have to reach out to me.


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