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I know there are similar question out there. I am slightly specific about my question.

Say, there is an overall machine "TookAllTheIdeasMachine" by Inventor "PlayedWithWordsForHisFirstInvention", which achieves functionality A. Functionality A has many sub-functionalities, like SF1, SF2, etc. To achieve functionality SF2, the inventor owner used elements E1 and E2. To achieve functionality SF2, he used Processes P1 and P2.

My questions are:

Scenario 1: I being a new inventor, created a product with the only goal to achieve functionality SF1. I used exactly elements E1 and E2 and exactly same process P1 and P2 to achieve functionality SF1.

Do I have any grounds to get a patent for my invention?

If no, inventor "PlayedWithWordsForHisFirstInvention" has not come up with the small unit which only performs dedicated task "SF1" but my invention does. And because my invention is dedicated to functionality "SF1" and fairly not complex, It is cheaper. But because "PlayedWithWordsForHisFirstInvention" has created a heavily costlier invention, I cant bring my invention to market because I cant afford to be sued.

How can I get patent for my invention SF1?

Please assist me.

  • On the second part of your question: do you have a more targeted question based on your goals? "What do I do?" in the abstract seems a bit broad as the answers could range from "give up", "focus on a different market", "infringe anyway", "patent your unit anyway", "invalidate the other patent"... sort of an infinite list of possibilities. – Maca Jan 19 '17 at 6:59
  • I changed my goal. – KSR Jan 19 '17 at 7:05
  • Do I get you right that you are basically doing just a part of what the other person does, without changing anything? It would depend on the claims then, basically, did the other person realize it was possible to only do that part? – DonQuiKong Jan 19 '17 at 7:08
  • yes, he specifically mentioned it as a need/requirement for his invention even if it was not a major functionality of his invention. – KSR Jan 19 '17 at 7:13
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As a preamble, the three basic requirements for a claimed invention is that it must be novel, non-obvious and useful in order to receive a patent. These three requirements can be applied to your two scenarios to provide an answer.

Do I have any grounds to get a patent for my invention [that has the same elements, processes and functionality]?

No.

Every feature of your invention is present in an existing product to achieve the same goal. Your invention is therefore not novel, and so is unpatentable. It is unnecessary to consider the two other conditions.

How can I get patent for my invention SF1?

We can look at the three factors for this.

Is it novel? Yes. Your competitor has not come up with it.

Is it non-obvious? Maybe: this depends on the circumstances. However, given it is beneficial (it is cheaper), this suggests it might be non-obvious.

Is it useful? Yes (because everything is useful to someone).

So depending on whether your small unit is obvious in view of what has gone before (which requires a fair bit of analysis of the details), you may be able to patent it. At this stage, a patent attorney would be the best person to talk to.

2

No, your invention is not patentable because what you do is already known. It does not matter that you repackage known functionality into a dedicated device.

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