A patent may be granted for a device or machine, a substance, a process or computer hardware
and software, and even some business methods—in short, almost anything commercially useful.
For a patent to be granted an invention must:
- be a manner of manufacture. A patent may be granted only for a tangible invention. No matter how ingenious or unusual they may be, you cannot patent artistic creations, mathematical models, theories, ideas or purely mental processes
- be new (the legal term is “novel”), which means that the invention has not been publicly disclosed in any form, anywhere in the world. Examples of disclosures that could show your invention is not new include published patent specifi cations (both Australian and foreign), textbooks and technical journals, internet sites, or the sale or use in a public area (including demonstrations) of a product in Australia
- involve an inventive step for a standard patent. The invention must not be obvious to someone with knowledge and experience in the technological field of the invention
- involve an innovative step for an innovation patent. There must be a difference between the invention and what is known about that technology, and this difference must make a substantial contribution to the working of the invention
- be useful, your invention should do what you say it will do
- not have been secretly used by you or with your consent.