A patent is an intellectual property correct that provides the holder, not an working correct, but a appropriate to prohibit the use by a third celebration patent an idea of the patented invention, from a particular date and for a limited duration (usually twenty many years).
Some countries may at the time of registration situation a "provisional patent" and may possibly grant a "grace period" of 1 year which avoids the invalidity of the patent to an patent an invention inventor who disclosed his invention prior to filing a patent in a non-confidential basis with the benefit of allowing fast dissemination of technical data while reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Dependent on the nation, the very first "inventor" or the 1st "filer" has priority to the patent.
The patent is legitimate only in a provided territory. Hence, the patent remains nationwide. It is possible to file a patent application for a specific 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). Therefore, a patent application could cover numerous countries.
In return, the invention need to be disclosed to the public. In practice, patents are immediately published 18 months after the priority date, that is to say, after the first filing, except in unique situations.
To be patentable, aside from the truth that it need to be an "invention", an invention must also meet three crucial criteria.
1. It have to be new, that is to say that nothing at all related has ever been accessible to the public understanding, by any signifies whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anyplace. It also need to not match the material of a patent that was filed but not nevertheless published.
2. It have to have inventive stage, that is to say, it can't be clear from the prior art.
3. It have to have industrial application, that is to say, it can be used or produced in any type of business, such as agriculture (excluding works of artwork or crafts, for illustration).
When a company believes that its competitors are unlikely to find out 1 of its secrets and techniques during the time period of coverage of any patent, or that the firm would not be in a position to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can pick not to file, which carries a chance and a advantage.
The chance: If a competitor finds the exact same procedure and obtains a patent on it, the company may be prohibited to use his personal invention ( the French law and American law vary on this stage, a single considering the evidence at the date of discovery, and the other at the date of publication). French law also includes a so-referred to as exception of "prior personal possession" for a individual who can demonstrate that the alleged invention was indeed infringed presently in its possession prior to the filing date of the patent application. In such case, operation would only be ready to carry on for that individual on the French territory.
The benefit: If there is no patent, the method is not published and for that reason the firm can assume new invention idea to proceed operation in concept indefinitely (Nevertheless in practice, someone will almost certainly find the notion one particular day, but the duration of safety might finish up longer in total). This technique of trade secret and consequently non- patenting is utilized in some situations by the chemical business.