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If a product is already in the market for a specific purpose and is found to be useful in another function by someone else can that person apply for a patent for that new function?

thank you!

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2 Answers 2

As a patent is a territorial right you may want to clarify where protection is sought/ which national/ regional legislation should be applied. Your pofile does not state your origin. At this time this may help regarding EU-related matters:

http://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/html/guidelines/e/f_iv_4_16.htm

The question cannot be answered definitely but one way to get protection may be a use claim. Consult a lawyer of your choice and provide him with details.

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If the apparatus existed before with all the structure, you can't patent the apparatus for a different even novel use.

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But you can patent the new method of use. –  George White Oct 30 '13 at 18:47

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