Patentable Subject Matter

To be granted a patent, an item submitted to the U.S. Patent Office (USPO) must be a "patentable subject matter." Patentable subject matters include compositions of matter, processes or procedures, articles of manufacture, machines, and any improvement of these categories. With the advent of the Internet, new items have been added to the U.S. patentable subject matter list such as online software and Internet business models. This article introduces the U.S., EU, and international approach on patentable inventions.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

How patentable subject matter is defined by the U.S law and what are the classes of patentable inventions?
How does the U.S. approach to patents differ from the European Union's?
What can be patented according to the approach of the World International Property Organization?
What types of computer or Internet related materials are patentable under the U.S. law?


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