Los Angeles, CA asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California

Q: Can you file a patent of a structure built from Bamboo?

A teepee for example

2 Lawyer Answers
Stephen E. Zweig
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  • Patents Lawyer
  • Los Gatos, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It depends on the structure. The USPTO will not give you much if any credit for teaching Bamboo. They also won't give you much if any credit for teaching a known structure such as a teepee. However if you come up with a non-obvious and original structure, or some non-obvious way of altering or treating the bamboo to improve its properties, then this might work.

Kevin E. Flynn agrees with this answer

Michael Cohen
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  • Patents Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Sure as long as you meet the threshold requirements for US patents, i.e. that it is new, useful, and non-obvious. Realistically, if it is a commonly shaped teepee with no novel utility, it will likely not be enough to pass the thresholds for a utility patent application. However, if there is a special function or feature to the teepee, then that feature could be patentable. Further, if the shape is different than a typical teepee, then it is possible to consider filing a design patent assuming the shape is novel. A patent search, specifically a novelty search, can help shed some light in regards to some of these issues.

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