The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has taken to the road to explain how it is raising the bar on biotechnology patents, adding new utility guidelines that require inventions to be useful in the real world.

Two sets of guidelines are being issued to patent examiners, one covering utility and another covering written description of the invention. Traditionally, a patent must meet three basic criteria to be issued: it must be novel, it must be useful and it must be enabled. The new guidelines cover usefulness and enablement.