protects inventions (utility patents) and ornamental designs for articles of
manufacture (design patents).
protected by utility patents include any new and useful process, machine,
manufacture, or composition of matter. Inventions can be electrical,
mechanical, or chemical in nature. Examples of inventions protected by
utility patents are a microwave oven, genetically engineered bacteria for
cleaning up oil spills, a computerized method of running cash management
accounts, and a method for curing rubber.
inventions protected by utility patents include communications protocols,
data compression techniques, interfaces, networking methods, encryption
techniques, interfaces, online payment systems, and information processing
and retrieval technologies. In the area of e-commerce, patentable inventions
and processes include electronic postage, electronic cash, and e-commerce
business methods (discussed later in this chapter).
manufactured articles protected by design patents are a design for the sole
of running shoes, a design for sterling silver tableware, and a design for a