Ruttler Mills PLLC

Seattle Patent Attorneys and Trademark Lawyers

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Obvious Inventions

Posted Friday, July 17, 2009 by Katie Long

Have you ever heard someone’s new idea and thought to yourself, “That is so obvious! Why didn’t I think of that?!” Sometimes the best inventions are ones which are so obvious that we kick ourselves for not thinking of them ourselves. On the other hand, the actual inventors of such inventions are sometimes kicking themselves as well…but for different reasons. In order for a new invention to be patentable, the invention must be not only novel, but must also be non-obvious. This fact is hard to swallow if you have just invented some new, useful item that is highly marketable but not such a significant advance as to warrant patent protection. While an invention may not be eligible for patent protection, a brand used in sales of the invention may be eligible for trademark protection. And, through the use of clever and strategic branding, inventors can become leaders in the market by becoming a desired source for the invention, even if that invention is also sold by others.

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