Spring Valley, NY asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Intellectual Property for New York

Q: How unique does a product need to be to get a utility (or design) patent?

I have an idea for a new application of an existing product. Moreover, I found 2-3 existing patents that are similar concepts but different applications.

Would I be able to get any type of patent?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: For a product to qualify for a utility patent, it must be novel, non-obvious, and useful. This means your idea must be significantly different from any existing products or patents, offer a new way of doing something, or provide a new technical solution to a problem. The presence of similar concepts in existing patents does not automatically disqualify your idea, but it must offer a unique application or improvement that is not obvious to someone skilled in the area related to your invention.

If your idea is a new application of an existing product, and this application is not covered by the existing patents you found, you might have a case for a utility patent. It's important to thoroughly document how your application is different and why it represents a significant improvement or a novel use.

Consulting with a patent attorney or agent is a crucial step in this process. They can help you navigate the complexities of patent law, conduct a comprehensive patent search to ensure your idea is indeed unique, and assist you in preparing and filing a patent application that accurately reflects the novelty of your invention. Remember, the details and specifics of your idea and how it is presented in the application can significantly impact the outcome.

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