It is possible to obtain a patent for a process or method of doing something.  But the following steps must be done.

           You must apply for the patent before you begin to use the invention in a commercial manner.  Your own act of using the invention in a commercial way means that it has already been done before you have applied for your patent.  In other terms, your own actions could rob the invention of being unique.  If you have already started to use the processes in a commercial way, you should talk to your patent attorney because it may be too late to apply for a patent.  Patents provide the inventory with an exclusive right to exploit the invention described in the patent for 20 years.  The patent must fully describe the invention and be published for everyone to see.  Others are allowed to use the information in the patent to do a similar thing and/or to reach the same result.  If a person copies all of the essential elements which are set out in the patent, then the patent rights have been breached.  If some of the essential elements but not all of them, there is no infringement.  Patents apply only in the countries they are applied for in.  It is possible to file a patent application in Australia and then delay filing in other countries for up to 18 months.  Note that filing patents in foreign countries is expensive so you should be sure that you can make money out of the invention. 

           Because of the fact that filing a patent involves disclosing all of the elements of the invention, people sometimes decide not to apply for a patent, but they rather try to keep the invention a secret.  This would be a good decision if it is impossible to discover these secrets in the invention, for example, by reverse engineering or by watching how it is done. 

           If you think you are different to other inventions because of your processes, it might be good to consider other forms of intellectual property protection (e.g., trademark registration or copyright).

           Not every process and/or business method is patentable.  There are very strict limitations and classes of business methods that can be patented with the United States Patent Office.  The most common of these is financial data processing which covers computer processes that involve business practices, finance, price determination and/or management.  Other classifications of eligible business model processes include gaming, education and agriculture.  The USPTO differentiates between a business model and a business method.  To be patentable, the art, method, or process must be useful, unique and not obvious.  Disclosure has to be complete to the point that anyone who has general knowledge of the industry can understand how it works.  There are three exceptions.  Laws of nature, abstract ideas or physical phenomena cannot  be patented. 

           The best way to make sure that you get the results you wish to achieve, you should always talk to a patent attorney.

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