A patent is an intellectual property correct that offers ideas for inventions the holder, not an operating correct, but a right to prohibit the use by a third get together of the patented invention, from a particular date and for a constrained duration (generally 20 years).

Some nations could at the time of registration problem a "provisional patent" and could grant a "grace time period" of one particular year which avoids the invalidity of the patent to an inventor who disclosed his invention before filing a patent in a non-confidential basis with the advantage of making it possible for speedy dissemination of technical information although reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Dependent on the nation, the initial "inventor" or the very first "filer" has priority to the patent.

The patent is legitimate only in a given territory. Therefore, the patent remains national. It is possible to file a patent application for a particular 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). Therefore, a patent application might cover several nations.

In return, the invention need to be disclosed to the public. In practice, patents are instantly published 18 months soon after the priority date, that is to say, following the very first filing, except in unique circumstances.

To be patentable, in addition to the reality that it must be an "invention", an invention must also meet three essential criteria.

1. It should be new, that is to say that nothing at all related has ever been accessible to the public understanding, by any means whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anywhere. It also must not match the content of a patent that was filed but not but published.

2. It have to have inventive phase, that is to say, it cannot be evident from the prior artwork.

3. It need to have industrial application, that is to say, it can be used or produced in any type of industry, which includes agriculture (excluding works of art or crafts, for instance).

When a company believes that its rivals are unlikely to discover a single of its secrets and techniques throughout the time period of coverage of any patent, or that the firm would not be ready to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can choose not to file, which carries a danger and a benefit.

The chance: patent inventions If a competitor finds the same method and obtains a patent on it, the business might be prohibited to use his personal invention ( the French law and American law vary on this level, 1 contemplating the evidence at the date of discovery, and the other at the date of publication). French law also contains a so-named exception of "prior individual possession" for a particular person who can show that the alleged invention was without a doubt infringed already in its possession prior to the filing date of the patent application. In this kind of case, operation would only be ready to proceed for that man or woman on the French territory.

The benefit: If there is no patent, the approach is innovative ideas not published and therefore the business can count on to continue operation in concept indefinitely (Even so in practice, an individual will most likely find the thought one day, but the duration of protection might finish up longer in total). This method of trade secret and consequently non- patenting is used in some cases by the chemical business.