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At a minimum, in order for your idea to have the ability to gain a patent, the idea must be: (1) patentable subject matter; (2) novel; and (3) nonobvious.
Patentable subject matter is a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, which is not an abstract idea, natural phenomena, or law of nature.
An idea is novel if there is no prior art (which can be written materials like patents or scientific articles, or other public disclosures of the idea) which describes every element of the idea.
An idea is nonobvious if there is no prior art or combination of prior art, which would make it clear to someone having ordinary knowledge of the subject area to think of the idea.
For a further explanation view: Is My Idea Patentable?
There are three types of patents: (1) utility patents; (2) design patents; and (3) plant patents.
(1) A utility patent protects how something functions or the usefulness of something, which can be an object, a part of an object, a method for doing something, or chemical composition.
(2) A design patent protect the visually appears or the form of an object, which can include the whole object, a part of the object, or an applied element to an object.
(3) A plant patent protects a plant that: has been reproduced without seeds; is new; found in nature; and is not a tuber.
For a further explanation visit: Types of Patents
The USPTO is the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Patents are granted – and trademarks are registered – through the USPTO.
A patent is an applied for right which is granted by the United States government - specifically the government agency called the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The US government - specifically the government agency called the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) - gives patent rights. This power to grant patent rights is detailed in the United States Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 (Where the Congress is given the power "to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.")
A patent granted by the US government (USPTO) - in other words a US patent - gives rights to the owner of that US patent only within the geographical United States. US patents rights do not apply in other countries.
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