Mostly, patents assume normal gravity condition.

Imagine a device which would not work upfront in low or absent gravity.

Would a modified device but working for same purpose and all other considered physical principles not changed, so modification has been done just to support changed gravity condition.

Is this worth of a new patent or is there still a dependency (because of same general idea) or even infringement?


All inventions must be new, useful and non-obvious to be patented. I suppose new can be assumed, and useful would be likely met. The major factor that would matter in this case is obviousness to a person having ordinary skill in the art per 35 U.S.C. 103. If it is easily and accurately predictable such as using a spring with a different spring constant then you will likely be denied. If there are unexpected results that require experimentation to resolve a useful answer such as containing particulates in zero gravity, then you are more likely to be granted a patent.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Think about all the special toilets, food storage and water recycling on the space station. All of that requires special design. – A. K. Aug 24 '18 at 17:41
  • A very good answer, but the question specifically asked about the worth of a patent. This implies to me economic value. If there is a very limited market, then it might not be worth pursuing a patent even if the invention qualifies for a patent. – Eric S Aug 24 '18 at 18:43
  • @EricShain, I believe he meant "worthy" which would make the answer appropriate. – A. K. Aug 24 '18 at 18:58
  • Perhaps you are right. People should, however consider the commercial viability of patents. – Eric S Aug 24 '18 at 20:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.