- a new and useful process, machine, manufactured item, or chemical substance;
- novel (never before described or existing in nature in the described form); and
Patents are not allowed on ideas per se, only the application of an idea. Nor can discoveries of natural phenomena be patented. So a naturally occurring molecule cannot be patented, nor can a gene in a chromosome. But slightly alter the molecule, or isolate the DNA of the gene, and a patentable invention may now exist.
The patent process begins with an application that:
- lists the inventor(s);
- includes an oath signed by the applicant(s) stating the belief that they are the original and...