If you create a new electronic device in your Texas workshop, it may be possible to patent it. In some cases, it may be possible to apply for protection under both American and international laws. This means that it may not possible for people or companies to copy your idea whether those parties are based in Texas or in another country.
How to determine if a creation qualifies for a patent
As a general rule, a patent is granted to creations that are useful, novel and not obvious. To be considered useful, an object must be able to function as intended whether it actually moves or not. To be considered novel, an object or creation cannot have been described in a printed publication in the United States.
Furthermore, it cannot have been described in a foreign publication more than a year before applying for a patent in the United States. To be considered not obvious, the new creation must be clever enough that a person who works with similar objects wouldn’t have thought to create it.
An overview of the different types of patents
A utility patent may be granted to anyone who discovers a new manufacturing process or discovers a way to make an existing product better. Design patents are intended to protect intellectual property related to how an object looks. A person who designs a plant that can reproduce asexually may be awarded a plant patent.
Why a patent might be rejected
You are prohibited from trying to patent nuclear weapons or similar objects per the terms of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. The legislation was passed to ensure that nuclear weapons developed in America couldn’t be replicated elsewhere. Pharmaceutical patents may be rejected in some countries to ensure that medications remain affordable.
If you want to learn more about patent law, an attorney may be able to answer your questions. This may make it easier to determine if your invention or improvement of an existing product may be eligible to be protected.