Anyone can come up with an idea for a new product, machine or creative design. Creative individuals are constantly thinking about new ways to see products, show products or use products. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit will often think of patenting an idea or invention in which they feel confident. It is important for these inventors to ask themselves whether or not their idea is patentable. Knowing whether or not the idea is patentable can help to save individuals time, money and effort. There are three basic categories to that an idea needs to fall under. Ideas that are new, ideas that work and ideas that drastically change an existing product are all patentable. An idea is described as “new” when it is something that has not been patented before. There are plenty of products in the marketplace that have not been patented. Those who decide to work for a patent for that product can still claim that the product is “new.” An idea or product is also considered patentable if it works. Any invention or idea needs to be feasible and needs to work. Ideas that cannot work or do not work cannot receive a patent. This is an important piece of information to understand about patents. Those who only have a general idea as to how something will work cannot file for that patent because they cannot explain how the idea or product works. This prevents businesses from patenting ideas or products that have not yet been researched or created. The final category to define an idea as patentable revolves around change. Those who have created a drastic change to an existing product may file a patent for that change. These changes must be large and drastic; simple changes in shape, color or size cannot be patented. The changes must completely change how the product or system works or operates. All inventors should take the time to compare their various ideas to these categories. Ideas that are not new, do not work or do not change a former patent enough will stand out as unpatentable. Provisional Patent Help? Need help with your ideas for invention?