I have an 8x5 binder and have adhered one additional item to it. I've also modified the paper that fits this binder, which fixes an existing issue. The binder provides use for a specific audience. Can I do a utility patent on this as a 'Manufacture'? I have not created any specific parts/pieces. It is a composition of several off the shelf items with two items that have not been used (with this binder) in this manner before.

As an additional note, any one can purchase all of these items, apply modification to paper and assembly everything without needing any special skills or machinery. But it is not an obvious assembly nor is it an item currently being sold.


The fact the your invention is built entirely from existing items does not preclude it from being patentable. The items being relatively easy to assemble in the desired fashion doesn't either.

At the same time, I feel obliged to point out that the patent may not mean a whole lot if it's as easy as you imply to buy the pieces individually and assemble them after the fact. It's generally impractical to try to enforce a patent against individual consumers.

  • Should I be concerned about individual consumers assembling these for personal use (no resale)? If an individual has enough initiative to put in the effort of finding all the parts, applying modifications, and assembling...I suppose gung-ho to them. Since my main overhead is cost of items, I'd be happy enough to sell a few units per month. I only see this as a small revenue stream. Perhaps the patent's value is enforcing against another business? – 4thSpace Nov 2 '12 at 4:33
  • @4thSpace: That was pretty much my point: the value is preventing a competing business. Patent lawsuits are extremely expensive too though -- unless the revenue stream is (at least) tens of millions of dollars a year, the damages you can hope to be awarded may be less than the court costs. – Jerry Coffin Nov 2 '12 at 13:20

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