“As a patent lawyer, I understand the need to educate local inventors as to what is and what is not patentable.” Ruben Alcoba, Esq.
At our firm, often, independent inventors visit us with concepts that have not been fully developed, so it is my job to educate them that a concept has to be enabled in order to be granted a patent in the United States.
So, what does it mean for an invention to be enabled? The US Patent law states that for an invention to be enabled “the specification (the written description of a patent application) must describe how to make and how to use the invention. The invention that one skilled in the art must be enabled to make and use is that defined by the claim(s) of the particular application or patent.”
For example, a concept defines a problem and defines a solution to a problem, yet it may not define the manner in which the solution is reached. A concept could be that a room needs a light at night and that a solution to the problem would be to develop something that will provide the light to the room at night. If the concept does not instruct a user how to build and use the device that would provide light to the room, then the device would be deemed not enabled. If a device is not enabled, then the concept cannot be protected by US Patent Law. US Patent Law only protects conceptual devices that are enabled (defined as how to make and use to the ordinary person in the art of the device) to solve a specific problem in a novel and non-obvious manner.
What is Novel? A novel invention is one that comes from an original concept or idea. For, an invention cannot obtain a patent in the United States if the invention was known or used by others anywhere in the World prior to the filing of the invention in the US Patent and Trademark Office.