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Laws of nature, natural phenomena and abstract ideas are not patentable. Thus Albert Einstein could not have patented his theory of relativity since it is a law of nature.
In order to patent an invention it must pass four tests:

  1. First, there are five “statutory classes” of things that are patentable and an invention MUST fall into one of these:
    • Processes
    • Machines
    • Manufactured items (objects made by humans or machines)
    • Compositions of matter
    • New uses of any of the above
  2. The invention must be “useful”. One aspect of the “ utility” test is that the invention cannot be a mere theoretical phenomenon.
  3. The invention must be “novel”, that is, it must be something that no one had done before.
  4. The invention must be “non-obvious” to “ a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said
    subject matter pertains”. This requirement is the one on which many patentability disputes
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