A Patent grants the exclusive right, privilege and liberty of making, using, and selling an invention, for the term of the patent, subject to adjudication. In general, an invention is any new, useful and unobvious art, process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter or any improvement thereto. This broad definition permits many things to be patented, however, there are also some things that are considered unpatentable:
- Mere scientific principles or abstract theorems
- Methods of doing business or similar professional methods
- Methods of medical treatment
- Computer programs per se
- Architectural plans
A patent is only granted for the physical embodiment of an idea or for a process that produces something tangible and saleable. Patentable subject matter generally takes the form of a product, process or apparatus having a technical and commercial objective or application.