I've created a wireless parking space sensor using a specific micro-controller and other components. I'm sure the same components used can be utilized in a different manner by others just with a change of firmware so I was wondering:

  • What exactly is patentable?

  • Would it be the combination of components with dimensions of PCB board?

  • Would it be just the firmware programmed on the micro-controller?

  • Would it be the specific purpose for the combination of components and firmware?

  • 1
    The list of part numbers and the size of the board would not define an invention. You might think of it at a block diagram level. A complete system can be patentable, a method of accomplishing something specific with the device might be patentable. The specific micro controller isn't very relevant unless you are able to do something with a very slow, cheap part that others can only do with a very expensive part, for example.
    – George White
    Apr 24, 2014 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


Without wanting to state the obvious here, but if you really think your invention is economically valuable and you have no prior experience in the patent field at all, you would be well advised to seek professional representation. As always, if you cannot or do not want to invest a few thousand dollars and / or a share of potential future profits, it is probably best to stay out of the patent game and use alternative strategies for the monetization and protection of your R&D efforts.

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