A patent is an intellectual property correct that offers the holder, not an operating appropriate, but a correct to prohibit the use by a third party of the patented invention, from a specified date and for a limited duration (normally 20 many years).
Some nations could at the time of registration problem a "provisional patent" and may possibly grant a "grace period" of one year which avoids the invalidity of the patent to an inventor who disclosed his invention before filing invention ideas a patent in a non-confidential basis with the advantage of enabling rapid dissemination of technical information whilst reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Dependent on the country, the very first "inventor" or the 1st "filer" has priority to the patent.
The patent is valid only in a given territory. Therefore, the patent remains nationwide. It is attainable 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 countries (with the EPO for 38 European countries, filing a PCT application for the 142 signatories of the Treaty). Thus, a patent application may possibly cover several nations.
In return, the invention should be disclosed to the public. In patent referrals practice, patents are immediately published 18 months following the priority date, that is to say, soon after the initial filing, except in unique cases.
To be patentable, apart from the reality that it need to be an "invention", an invention need to also meet 3 essential criteria.
1. It need to be new, that is to say that nothing related has ever been accessible to the public knowledge, by any indicates whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anywhere. It also must not match the content material of a patent that was filed but not nevertheless published.
2. It must have inventive phase, that is to say, it are not able to be obvious from the prior artwork.
3. It have to have industrial application, that is to say, it can be used or produced in any kind of market, such as agriculture (excluding functions of artwork or crafts, for instance).
When a company believes that its competitors are unlikely to uncover 1 of its strategies during the time period of coverage of any patent, or that the how to patent a product organization would not be able to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can choose not to file, which carries a threat and a benefit.
The threat: If a competitor finds the same approach and obtains a patent on it, the firm could be prohibited to use his personal invention ( the French law and American law vary on this stage, a single contemplating the proof at the date of discovery, and the other at the date of publication). French law also includes a so-called exception of "prior individual possession" for a particular person 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 case, operation would only be able to carry on 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 carry on operation in theory indefinitely (Nevertheless in practice, somebody will possibly discover the thought one day, but the duration of protection might finish up longer in complete). This system of trade secret and therefore non- patenting is utilised in some situations by the chemical industry.