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Patent with technology not on the market yet.

  1. Nov 29, 2012 #1
    Hello, I was wondering if someone with patent experience could help me. Is it possible to submit a patent which uses technology which is still in the research phase? If so, how does this differ than one which utilizes technology already out there?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2012 #2


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    Any process or product can be patented. Patented inventions are supposed to be new, as well as useful and non-obvious.

    It is certainly appropriate to patent something that is under research.

    On the other hand, if one wishes to keep the invention a trade secret, do not patent it. Technology companies keep the best stuff under wraps, and do not patent/disclose it.
  4. Nov 30, 2012 #3
    Interesting point. Can you provide some examples?
  5. Dec 1, 2012 #4
    Adderall medication - its a combination of 4 ingredients, but the manufacturer wont say how its produced so is difficult to copy
    Recipes - junk food, Coca cola, various liqueurs
    Manufacturing eg Semiconductor production - the general techniques are known but manufactures dont want others to know shortcuts
    Google's search algorithms (they change all the time anyway)
  6. Dec 1, 2012 #5


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    In fact you can't patent technology which is "out there". Once technology is in the public domain, it can no longer be patented. If you start selling some new invention before you have filed a patent, you lose your right to patent it (at least in the US).
  7. Dec 1, 2012 #6


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    I must decline the examples of which I know, but
    Coke is the best example of a trade secret, but I don't believe it could be patented on the basis of 'usefulness', although someone might attempt such a claim. Perhaps it is useful because it sets the beverage apart from others, and thus CocaCola enjoys a market advantage.

    One might patent a product or process with the expectation that it could be discovered by someone familiar with the art. However, one of three requirements is 'non-obviousness', which might apply at the time of discovery, but is not necessarily a permanent condition.
  8. Dec 4, 2012 #7
    Thanks for all the great advice. Phyzguy, when I mentioned a patent which utilizes technology already out there, I meant a novel invention comprised of technology which already exists but used in an original way.

    About what Astronuc said, yeah, I guess the 'non-obviousness' part is the largest hurdle IMHO.
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