Disclaimer: It is herewith duly acknowledged that Patents are a tool of Satan. Both the practice and the concept of patenting/patents
should be banished to a time capsule to show future generations what a bunch of bastards we've all been.
I should know; I'm in the business
Patents, as we all know, are legislative tools for securing someone's right to their invention, i.e. grant exclusive right of use to the owner. Makes others feel a bit like that kid who'd take his ball home when you were young and you'd have to sit around and abide little Claire's -then- disgusting smooches.
It is somewhat unfortunate that companies are the majority of applicants nowadays, rather than individuals, mostly due to high registration fees. But that's the way this ominous cookie crumbles.
Without digressing, however, let us look at the three main criteria to be met during a patent examination:
In layman's terms, your patent application has to be new. That is to say, you cannot patent a pen, a sheet of A4, a pitcher, beer, television, a guitar or, say, your cat. I'm afraid novelty of form is essential to the examiner in question, and he will be a very cross Swede if you send him claims along the lines of:
What is desperately claimed is:
1. Apparatus comprising a box with remote control and bored wife sitting next to subject who gazes semi-consciously at said box.
And its dependent claim:
2 Box of claim 2 wherein a dog who is preferably dead in one of various embodiments lies at subject's feet.
As mind boggling as this will be to some of you who have not walked the walk among piles of retarded English "descriptions", the above-mentioned claims are not a clever and sneaky way of patenting a TV in your own very unique idiom. The Swede will see right through it, because he knows your sort.
The examiner may also disapprove if you've been shooting your mouth off, so to speak, about your invention. If you have disclosed your invention in any way, shape, or form, it is as dead as the dog in the claims. Shut the fuck up! Apply for a patent first. Then you can beam endlessly at the water-cooler.
Yeah, I know it sounds like that myth about Christopher Walken smuggling dance steps into his movies, but this is something entirely different. A patent must do something that something else has not done before. The prior something, which is called prior art, should have only just missed the mark when revelling in its own genius. If you were there to observe, conceive, and lunge like the jungle cat that you are at the little nicety in functionality, you have achieved the inventive step.
Some clever folks have come up with different uses for the prior art. If you were to prove, for instance, that the aforementioned television was good for cancer, you would be well on your way to fulfilling this much-coveted condition. In other words, your starting point can be the prior art, provided that it is provisional of some completely different function.
To demonstrate using the previous example:
1. Apparatus comprising a box with remote control used in treatment of malignant lymphocytes.
2. Apparatus of claim 1 wherein said box is orally ingested or applied to skin via a rubbing motion.
There you have it. You have just advanced the prior art to a level never before conceived. In fact I'm a little peeved that I have disclosed it here. I could've made an absolute packet.
Simply put, the question before us is: Can I throw this at some fat cat's Mercedes?
No, seriously, Industrial applicability refers to the invention's utility value in any given industry, including agriculture. It may be revealing of potential that increases economic gain, improves safety in a given work environment, etc. You cannot, therefore, patent "that cosy feeling you get when the Dukes of Hazard comes on".