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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four categories of patentable subject matter in the United States?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has defined four categories of patentable subject matter. These categories include a process, a machine, a manufacture, and a composition of matter. Each of these categories has specific criteria that must be met for an invention to be considered patentable. A process refers to a method or procedure that is new and useful. This could include a new way of doing something, or a new use for a known process. A machine refers to a device or apparatus that performs a specific function. This could include anything from a simple tool to a complex piece of machinery. A manufacture refers to an article or product that is made by hand or by machinery. This could include anything from a handmade craft to a mass-produced item. A composition of matter refers to a chemical compound or mixture that has been created or discovered. This could include anything from a new drug to a new alloy.
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