I have an idea that I am interested in patenting or protecting in some form. However the product I have in mind is a combination of 2 products that already exist but that are packaged / presented differently. The combination gives all the advantages of each separately but is enhanced by their combination.
The product area is that of solar / renewable energy.
I would like to patent in the NY / US and/or EU.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Patentable inventions can be "anything under the sun created by man that is new, useful, and unobvious." Most inventions are combinations of earlier ideas that solve problems in new, useful, and unobvious ways. The inventor must be the person(s) that conceive of the invention and/or reduce it to practice. However, a review of Chapter 21 of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP - http://bitlaw.com/source/mpep/2100.html) will reveal how complicated such a seemingly simple test is interpreted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the Courts, and the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) Countries.
Beyond patentability, a patent may be obtained not only for the end product produced, but also the process used to create the end product. There are also questions of the business purpose you hope to achieve with such a patent that can determine how you draft your patent application - are you hoping to sell the idea to a manufacturing/energy company, secure a seat at the negotiating table with other businesses, or desiring to start a company from ground zero - and specifically who are the potential infringers you hope to prevent from making the invention without your permission.
There are numerous other factors that you may need to consider and you should act as quickly as is reasonable. I highly recommend you consult a Patent Attorney or Patent Agent as your initial filing is extremely pivotal in its eventual grant and use. You should discuss filing a "provisional utility application" as soon as possible to stake your claim in both the U.S. and provide a basis for a later international filing under the PCT.
Contact a patent attorney to discuss.