Is Your Invention Patentable?

Does it meet the three criteria for a patentable invention?

Is it new, inventive and industrially applicable?


This means the invention has not been disclosed to the public anywhere in the world by any methods – such as word of mouth, through the press and advertising, product demonstration or commercial production.

If you need to disclose the invention before filing it for patent application e.g. to a marketing consultant or a potential investor, do make sure that they are bound by confidentiality agreement.

Once you have obtained a ‘patent pending’ status from the Intellectual Property office, you can start disclosing and commercializing your invention.


The invention also needs to display an inventive step that is not obvious to a person with average knowledge in the particular field of the invention.

For example, if you claim to have invented a bicycle with self-balancing technology – but simply add two wheels at its rear, this would not be an inventive step!

The Blackberry, on the other hand, fulfills the criterion of inventiveness as it looks and is used just like any other handheld communication device. In other words, it incorporates new inventions that are not discernible even to technology experts.

Industrially Applicable

Your invention also needs to be useful, capable of being produced or used – to put it simply, it has to be something practical.  It should, therefore, be of no surprise to us that the highest levels of human ingenuity and intellect have often resulted in solutions to the most common everyday problems!

The most notable recent inventions according to the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) are, among others, the Bagless Vacuum Cleaner invented by James Dyson in 2002, Procter and Gamble’s Magic Eraser in 2004, and even a patented Plate for eating Long Pasta invented in 2001 by a group of Swiss hospitality students1!