Some Things Cannot Be Patented

By Fatih Ozluturk:

In another blog entry we listed the conditions for an invention to be patentable. There are also specific things that the law excludes from patentable subject matter. It is important to know these. Some of the things that you can’t patent are obvious: no, you can’t patent the change of seasons! But others are excluded because they are the subject of other types intellectual property protection. For example, the song you wrote to your high school sweetheart is not patentable – but you can still protected by a copyright. Here is a list of things that are explicitly not patentable.

• Laws of nature
• Physical phenomena
• Abstract ideas
• Literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. These types of IP can be protected by Copyrights.
• Inventions which are considered not useful or possible by the USPTO for example perpetual motion machines; or offensive to public morality
• America Invents Act, signed into law in September 16, 2011, also adds that tax strategies designed to reduce, defer, or evade taxes are not patentable, and neither are inventions on human organisms.