What can be patented in the United States?

What can be patented in the United States?

In the United States patents can be obtained for any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, e.g., a new drug, or chemical composition, certain computer programs, a process for making a product or a machine used by the process in making the product can all be the subject of a patent.  Also, you can obtain design patents which are for any new, original, ornamental design. Design patents last for 14 years from the date of issuance. The design patent does not cover functional features of the article shown in the design patent, only the ornamental features. Design patents are useful where the purchaser of the product is buying the product for its look as opposed to its function. For example, a design patent can protect furniture and other products where the buyer wants a distinctive look.