Patents

A patentable invention can be any (1) Art, process, method or manner of manufacture, (2) Machine, apparatus or other articles, (3) Substances produced by manufacturing, (4) Computer software with technical application to industry or used with Hardware, and (5) Product patent for food, chemicals, medicines and drugs. Before paying the government fees for a patent, it is sensible to do a search to test the inventiveness of the product or process. It's the only way to know how likely it is for your patent to be granted. While you may be aware of what has already been shown to have commercial uses, it is entirely possible that a competitor has patented a product or process similar to yours, but not begun using it yet.
A patentee must disclose the invension in the patent document for anyone to practice it after the expiry of the patent or practice it with the consent of the patent holder during the life of the patent.