Q: How do I know if I need to patent an excel spreadsheet graph?
I just created a graph this afternoon around 1:00pm with my name and date in the bottom corner that really impressed my professor who is a doctor in medicine. After getting off the phone with my father, he suggested I reach out and see if this is something that I could patent. Is there any way that I could get this checked out in order to get that accomplished?
A: A spreadsheet graph is not generally the kind of thing that can be patented. If you think it is truly new and innovative, I encourage you to consult privately with a patent attorney. Be prepared to explain it thoroughly, and keep in mind that your 1-year time limit for patenting already started to run when you showed it to your professor, so if the innovation turns out to be patentable, you must act quickly to secure patent protection.
Marcos Garciaacosta and Sarah S. Shepard agree with this answer
On terms of patent you may be thinking on the formula or algorithm behind the graph. If so you need to talk to a patent attorney. In general an algorithm may not have protection unless it is embodied in a computer. It can be complicated and can take a long time to get it.
IF it is the graph itself, result of work you did compilying information, it may fall under copyright.
Again, talk to an attorney and best luck
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