What is the utility requirementfor patents?
Patents must serve an industrial purpose and be useful in the industry to be considered as an invention. The utility requirement is essential in determining the value of a patent. Some inventions violate the laws of physics and are not industrially applicable, such as the perpetual motion machine. Although low yields do not affect the utility of an invention, a product with no exploitable use does not meet the utility requirement. Examining utility is the first step in the patent application process. Examiners usually look for utility first, while novelty and inventiveness are evaluated through a retrieval search of relevant patents, applications, and technical literature. The utility cannot be determined through such searches. Examiners can determine the lack of utility by reading the application documents, such as in the case of a perpetual motion machine. If an invention has no utility, it is not patentable.