A patent is an intellectual property correct that offers the holder, not an operating appropriate, but a appropriate to prohibit the use by a third party of the patented patents invention, from a particular date and for a constrained duration (normally twenty many years).

Some nations could at the time of registration situation a "provisional patent" and could grant a "grace period" of one year which avoids the invalidity of the patent to an inventor who disclosed his invention just before filing a patent in a non-confidential basis with the benefit of allowing quick dissemination of technical info while reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Dependent on the country, the initial "inventor" or the initial "filer" has priority to the patent.

The patent is valid only in a provided territory. As a result, the patent stays national. It is attainable to file a patent application for a specific country (INPI for France, the USPTO for the U.S., JPO for Japan), or a group of invention nations (with the EPO for 38 European nations, filing a PCT application for the 142 signatories of the Treaty). Thus, a patent application could cover numerous nations.

In return, the invention have to be disclosed to the public. In practice, patents are instantly published 18 months after the priority date, that is to say, soon after the initial filing, except in unique situations.

To be patentable, aside from the reality that it should be an "invention", an invention should also meet three important criteria.

1. It should be new, that is to say that absolutely nothing related has ever been accessible to the public knowledge, by any signifies whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anyplace. It also need to not match the content 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 must have industrial application, that is to say, it can be utilized or produced in any kind of sector, like agriculture (excluding performs of art or crafts, for example).

When a firm believes that its competitors are unlikely to discover one of its strategies throughout the period of coverage of any patent, or that the business would not be in a position to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can choose not to file, which carries a chance and a advantage.

The threat: If a competitor finds the identical process and obtains a patent on it, the business may possibly be prohibited to use his personal invention ( the French law and American law vary on this point, 1 considering the evidence at the date idea for a product of discovery, and the other at the date of publication). French law also contains a so-known as exception of "prior personal possession" for a individual who can prove that the alleged invention was certainly infringed currently in its possession prior to the filing date of the patent application. In this kind of situation, operation would only be ready to proceed for that man or woman on the French territory.

The advantage: If there is no patent, the technique is not published and as a result the business can expect to carry on operation in concept indefinitely (Even so in practice, someone will probably find the idea one particular day, but the duration of safety may end up longer in total). This technique of trade secret and as a result non- patenting is utilised in some instances by the chemical market.