Patent benefits

You cannot patent “benefits”. A valid product patent needs a “new” and “inventive” feature. In respect of each benefit, ask:

What feature did I add to yield that benefit

Then query:

  • is that added feature “new”?
  • is adding that feature “inventive” (i.e. not obvious to an expert)?

For example:

Benefit New feature New? Inventive?
Modular Connectors that releasably secure a first module to a second module Unlikely – most connectors “realeasably connect”, even nails and screws Unlikely
Flat pack (i) Merely “disassembled” No No
(ii) Components designed to nest within each other Unlikely, unless includes new nesting features Unlikely
Eco-friendly / recyclable Generally, due to the material used Maybe Generally, not
Lighter (i) New material used Maybe Generally, not
(ii) Removed components No No
More rugged (i) New material used Maybe Generally, not
(ii) Addition of “strengthening ribs” Maybe Generally, not
(iii) Increased wall thickness No No
Easier to manufacture “New step” (irrespective of product type) in the manufacturing process Maybe Generally, not
Cheaper (i) New material used Maybe Generally, not
(ii) Absence of a feature No No
More energy efficient (i) Mere substitution of a high-power consumption component (e.g. incandescent light) with a component having a lower power consumption (e.g. LED light). No No
(ii) Controller that monitors / forecasts usage and regulates power consumption Maybe Maybe

If: the feature that has been added to yield the benefit is “new” (i.e. never been placed on that product before) and; addition of that feature would not be considered obvious by an expert in the field, you likely have something patentable. But, don’t confuse “a new feature” with “a new type of feature”. For instance in the world of incandescent lights, an LED light is a new “type” of light, but both are lights. So, if an incandescent light was previously included in the product, substituting it with an LED light is not adding a “new feature”.

For further tips on how to draft a patent, see our Patent Template.

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