WHAT IS A PATENT?
A patent is a limited monopoly granted in respect of an invention. It confers the right to the owner to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention. The right is conferred to the inventor by a national or regional authority. The right is limited in terms of territory and duration.
WHAT CAN A PATENT BE GRANTED FOR?
Patents can be granted for any inventions which are susceptible of industrial application, which are novel and which involve an inventive step.
> Invention: an invention is the creation of a new device, composition of matter, method or use.
> Industrial applicability: the invention must serve a worthwile practical use.
> Novelty: the invention has not been disclosed as such in the prior art.
> Inventive step: the invention would not have been obvious for a person skilled in th art at the time of making the invention.
Prior art is any public disclosure, not made under confidentiality, in oral or written or any other form.
EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
> the EP procedure explained
Upon grant of a European patent, the European patent needs to be validated in those countries where protection is to be obtained. The requirements for validating vary depending on the country selected. Aside from possible fees and possible representation being required, also the translation requirements vary from country to country.
INTERNATIONAL PATENT APPLICATION
> the PCT procedure explained
The PCT now (1 March 2019) has 152 contracting states.
There is a time limit for entry into national/regional phase of a PCT application: countries with entry on 30 months and countries with entry on 31 months.