For example say I developed a solution using 2 commonly found chemicals call them X and Y that can for example instantly and safely whiten teeth in a novel way never discovered before. Do I patent the process that uses those chemicals, or do I patent the chemical solution I use for the process? Or both? (separately? in the same patent?) If patenting the process, how should I make sure the chemical is also protected for use for the purpose of teeth whitening?

Correct me if I'm wrong but from my understanding I would not be able to patent the chemical solution as a standalone patent spanning all industries. I am only able to patent the process that uses the chemical and make sure no one else can use that chemical for that specific purpose. Please advise the best way to go about protecting such a process.

Lastly, what if it's possible to achieve a similar or identical result to the process by changing some variables around and using similar chemicals to the ones I am patenting. (There's around 10 chemicals that could technically be used to bypass my patent and get similar results). How can I protect myself from those?

1 Answer 1


You are a long way from drafting a patent application. A patent can have multiple claims that protect the disclosed invention. They can be at different levels of the total invention.

If a chemical is 100% new and not obvious (and useful) it might have many uses. You can have a claim just to the novel chemical itself. Making, selling, using, etc. the chemical to just sit in a jar would require your ok to not infringe. No use at all would be needed to infringe that claim.

Separately you could claim a process for using the chemical to whiten teeth. If your claim on the substance itself doesn’t fly or is later knocked down, you can have a claim on the primary use you have in mind.

If the chemical, itself, isn't new, you can't patent it.


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