Posted by Michael Shimokaji | Aug 09, 2019 | 0 Comments

QUESTION: Does a patented limited invention prevent a broader invention from being patented? If I have an IP that is much broader than an IP already patented by someone else, can I patent mine? I'll give you a rough, but clear example. If Newton patented his energy formula E=mv^2 /2, and Einstein came up with his own broader formula E=mc^2 from which the Newton's formula can be derived as a special and limited case, can Einstein patent his formula? Does Newton's patent prevent Einstein from patenting his formula?

ANSWER: Not necessarily, but probably yes. Patentability depends on whether the invention to be patented is obvious over prior patents. Therefore, it is not always true that a narrow patent makes a broad patent obvious. However, it is likely that a narrow patent will make a broad patent obvious.

About the Author

Michael Shimokaji

Michael’s expertise includes the strategic development of patent and trademark portfolios. He identifies those patents and trademarks that are valuable to his clients by providing them with a competitive advantage. Then, Michael obtains patent and trademark registrations in the US and abroad.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Free Consultations

Get answers to your questions from a patent lawyer and trademark lawyer. Contact us for a free consultation - by phone or video conference or in person.