I purchased an invention along with the intellectual property rights. The original owner and inventor had no patent but had been manufacturing and selling the product for a few years prior to my purchase.

Since it had been sold and advertised publicly, can I still patent it? It is unique. No one else manufactures or sells it. I am the only one. I want the protection offered by a patent.

What type of patent would apply to my situation?

1 Answer 1


Short: No.

Long: One requirement for patentability is called novelty. It basically translates to “nothing which is known to the public (be it by public use or publication) can be patented.“

However, if you invent improvements who which are not obvious in light of the prior art which is known to the public, those can be patentable.

Other than that, you can protect trademarks and brand names to establish some barrier against copy cats.

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