Skip to main content

I have an idea for a new type of clothing, paint material.

Manteca, CA |

I know how to fund it and research it, but I'm schizophrenic and can't pursue the idea right now due to disorganized thoughts....

Can I patent the idea, can the idea be broad?

It requires research into nano materials...

In order to patent an idea do I need to find the process to get the right material?

Or can I say I have an idea, it's so and so. Therefor blocking everyone's else attempt at trying to design, manufacture it?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


You can not patent an abstract idea. For more information, you can do some reading at the Patent Office website:

Good luck.

I am not your attorney and any posts/messages or responses to posts/messages can not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon free legal advice and I disclaim any liability for the results if you do.


We don't award patents for mere ideas. We reward patents for inventors who develop their idea into a tangible, useful scientific advance---the law requires that a patent applicant enable the invention and describe it with sufficient clarity to allow a person of ordinary skill in the art to practice the invention without undue experimentation. Sometimes a prophetic invention can be protected by patent law but only if it meets this enablement requirement. It sounds to me like your idea, however wonderful it may be, is not developed sufficiently to warrant patent protection


You cannot patent an idea, but rather the embodiment of that idea in a useful manner, such as a product or method. The patent can be very broad if your invention is a breakthrough or it can be very narrow if it is just a marginal improvement. You may or may not need to find the process to get the right material in order to make an enabling disclosure. Certainly having the process to get the right material will help you make that enabling disclosure and will help your patent attorney fashion better patent claims. Regardless of how you patent it, you will not block everyone else's attempt at trying to design and manufacture it. In fact, patents do just the opposite, they encourage people to try to design around your patented invention so that they do not have to pay you a royalty have an injunction issued against them as a result of infringing your patent.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick


Typo: pay you a royalty have an injunction --> pay you a royalty OR have an injunction.


If you an explain "how" to do that which you want to do, then you might be able to patent it. If you can explain how to make the material, then it won't really matter how someone uses it if you end up patenting the material.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer