Can I get a patent on this so others will not copy and sell it as their own product or is it too basic to worry about? 10 Answers as of November 15, 2012

I have an idea to manufacture a product to market and sell basic ingredients with each having their own benefits but I want to put them together in one capsule. Can you patent 1+1+1=3 for example? Again, each individual ingredient has its own positive beneficial health properties but I want to put them together in a capsule form. I am thinking of selling this product in Asia. Are USA patent laws recognized in Asia?

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DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
In general, if 1+1+1=3, then the invention is not patentable, assuming each ingredient provides its own positive and well -known health benefit, and assuming that there is some rationale for putting the three ingredients into one product (i.e., there is no contra-indication for their combination). But if 1+1+1=3.5, a benefit that is more than the individual benefits, there may be a basis for patentability. On the other question, no. US patent law does not extend the exclusive protection of a US patent to the sales of a patented product that is made and old in other countries, but would cover manufacture in the US.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 11/15/2012
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
A patent gives the patent owner the right to prevent others from making, or using or selling a product that infringes on the issued patent. 1+1+1=3 is not patentable because is just manipulation of numbers without any tangible result. To get a patent there must be some novelty related to the combination that is not obvious by simply combining known ingredients to achieve a predictable result. US patents are not enforceable in Asia, but you can file for international patents to cover foreign countries.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/14/2012
Eminent IP, P.C.
Eminent IP, P.C. | Paul C. Oestreich
As an initial matter, patent rights are geographically limited, *i.e.*, U.S. patent rights carry no legal authority in foreign countries, only in the U.S. If you want patent protection in Asia, you will need to file patents in the Asian countries you want to sell your product. As for whether you can get a patent for your composition, you should first commission a patentability search to see if your composition/product is novel and nonobvious and therefore possibly patentable. Such patentability opinions are generally less expensive than the cost of filing a utility patent application and being rejected because someone else has already disclosed your invention. If your composition is not patentable, and it has been publicly disclosed for long enough that it is dedicated to the public and there are no other patent rights covering the product, you should be free to make, use and sell your product. Finally, you should seek freedom to operate or "clearance" opinions from patent attorneys in the countries that you intend to sell your product in order to determine whether your product infringes on other's patents. Having a patent for your product does not mean you are not infringing other's patents. You may need to seek a license to sell your product.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 11/14/2012
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
No. Also if the combination of the ingredients has no supplemental effect that patenting it may be hard as it would be deemed obvious.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/14/2012
Webb IP Law Group
Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
If there is no synergistic benefit of the three ingredients, it will be hard to get a patent. If there are synergistic benefits (that are unexpected), then you have an opportunity to get a patent in the US. If you want protection in Asia, you will also need patent applications to be filed in Asian countries.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 11/14/2012
    Shimokaji & Associates
    Shimokaji & Associates | Michael Shimokaji
    Many inventions are an aggregation of already known components. Whether you can get a patent on the aggregation of components will depend in part on whether it would have been obvious to aggregate the components in the way you have done so. Patent laws are country dependent. Therefore, a patent in the US is not of effect in Asia.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC
    Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC | Deepak Malhotra
    To be patentable, an invention has to be new, useful, and unobvious. If you are using known ingredients for their known benefits, you may have a tough time arguing that the combination is non-obvious. Each country has its own patent system. A US patent only covers sales, manufacturing, and importations into the US. You would need to obtain a patent in each country of interest. You would need to deal with the equivalent of the FDA in each country of interest. Also be aware than many countries have compulsory licensing provisions which may require you to allow generics to manufacture your product and pay you a tiny royalty, assuming you do get a patent allowed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Barton Barton & Plotkin
    Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
    US patents are not honored in other countries. You may be able to get a patent if your combination of ingredients is novel and non-obvious and substantially advanced the art. But no lawyer can advise you based on the limited information in your question. And patents may not be the best way to protect this product. You need to retain and consult with IP counsel.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Ochoa and Associates
    Ochoa and Associates | Susan Ochoa Spiering
    Your compilation idea is patentable if it meets the requirements of : novel, not obvious, and useful. A USA patent is not effective or recognized in Asia. You will need a patent in whatever countries of Asia you are thinking of making, using, selling. All patents are territorial - meaning they are only good in the country they are issued.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/14/2012
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