A patent is an intellectual house appropriate that offers the holder, not an working appropriate, but a appropriate to prohibit the use by a third get together of the patented invention, from a particular date and for a restricted duration (normally 20 years).
Some countries may possibly at the time of registration problem a "provisional patent" and might grant a "grace time period" of a single 12 months which avoids the invalidity of the patent to an inventor who disclosed his invention prior to filing a patent in a non-confidential basis with the benefit of permitting speedy dissemination of technical data although reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Depending on the nation, the 1st "inventor" or the 1st "filer" has priority to the patent.
The patent is valid only in a provided territory. Hence, the patent remains national. It is achievable to file a patent application for a certain nation (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). As a result, a patent application may possibly cover numerous nations.
In return, the invention need to be disclosed to the public. In practice, patents are immediately published 18 months right after the priority date, that is to say, following the first filing, except in unique cases.
To be patentable, besides the truth that it must be an "invention", an invention have to also meet three vital criteria.
1. It have to be new, that is to say that patent ideas practically nothing comparable has ever been available to the public knowledge, by any signifies whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anyplace. It also need to not match the articles of a patent that was filed but not however published.
2. It must have inventive stage, that is to say, it cannot be clear from the prior art.
3. It need to have industrial application, that is to say, it can be employed or produced in any variety of industry, like agriculture (excluding performs of artwork or crafts, for illustration).
When a organization believes that its rivals are unlikely to learn one of ideas inventions its secrets for the duration of the period of coverage of any patent, or that the organization would not be in a position to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can decide on not to file, which carries a danger and a benefit.
The danger: If a competitor finds the same approach and obtains a patent on it, the company may be prohibited to use his own invention ( the French law and American law vary on this level, 1 considering the evidence at the date of discovery, and the other at the date of publication). French law also contains a so-referred to as exception of "prior individual possession" for a man or woman who can demonstrate that the alleged invention was indeed infringed presently in its possession prior to the filing date of the patent application. In this kind of case, operation would only be in a position to proceed for that man or woman on the French territory.
The advantage: If there is no patent, the strategy is not published and consequently the business can count on to proceed operation in concept indefinitely (Even so in practice, someone will almost certainly find the concept a single day, but the duration of protection could end up longer in getting a patent complete). This technique of trade secret and therefore non- patenting is employed in some situations by the chemical market.