The Information You Must Know About Getting A Patent

A patent is an intellectual home proper that offers the holder, not an operating correct, but a correct to prohibit the use by a third celebration of the patented invention, from a certain date and for a limited patent inventions duration (typically 20 years).

Some nations may at the time of registration issue a "provisional patent" and might grant a "grace period" of 1 year which avoids the invalidity of the patent to an inventor who disclosed his invention just before filing a patent in a non-confidential basis with the advantage of allowing fast dissemination of technical information even though reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Dependent on the country, the first "inventor" or the very first "filer" has priority to the patent.

The patent is valid only in a provided territory. Therefore, the patent remains national. It is possible to file a patent application for a certain country (INPI for France, the USPTO for the U.S., JPO for Japan), or a group of nations (with the EPO for 38 European nations, filing a PCT application for the 142 signatories of the Treaty). Thus, a patent application might cover a number of countries.

In return, the invention should be disclosed to the public. In practice, patents are instantly published 18 months soon after intellectual property the priority date, that is to say, right after the very first filing, except in special situations.

To be patentable, in addition to the reality that it need to be an "invention", an invention have to also meet 3 essential criteria.

1. It need to be new, that is to say that nothing equivalent has ever been accessible to the public information, by any means whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anyplace. It also must not match the material of a patent that was filed but not but published.

2. It must have inventive step, that is to say, it can't be evident from the prior artwork.

3. It have to have industrial application, that is to say, it can be utilised or produced in any type of sector, including agriculture (excluding works of artwork or crafts, for instance).

When a firm believes that its rivals are unlikely to uncover one of its secrets and techniques during the time period of coverage of any patent, or that the firm would not be capable to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can pick not to file, which carries a threat and a advantage.

The threat: If a competitor finds the identical procedure and obtains a patent on it, the company may possibly be prohibited to use his personal invention ( the French law and American law differ on this point, a single thinking about the proof at the date of discovery, and the other at the date of publication). French law also includes a so-named exception of "prior personal possession" for a individual who can show that the alleged invention was certainly infringed already in its possession prior to the filing date of the patent application. In such situation, operation would only be able to proceed for that person on the French territory.

The advantage: If there is no patent, the strategy is not published and consequently the firm can assume to continue operation in concept indefinitely (Nonetheless in practice, somebody will probably locate the concept one day, but the duration of safety might finish up longer in complete). This method of trade secret and for that reason non- patenting is utilised in some instances by the invention chemical business.