What is a patent for?
A patent is a title of ownership of an invention, of a temporary nature, granted by a state and with effect in its territory, which grants its inventor or holder the right to temporarily prevent others from manufacturing, selling or commercially using the invention.
This document includes the description of the invention, one or several claims detailing the essential technical characteristics of the product or process that is the content of the application, drawings to clarify the descriptions or claims and a summary of the invention.
The duration of the patent registration procedure between application and grant is usually 26 to 36 months. However, during this time, the holder will have a provisional protection of his invention.
In order to obtain protection in several countries, protection procedures must be carried out in each of them. However, there are international agreements that simplify the registration procedures at the European or international level.
Characteristics of a patent
In principle, the patent holder enjoys the exclusive right to prevent the patented invention from being commercially exploited by third parties. Patent protection means that an invention cannot be produced, used, distributed for commercial purposes or sold without the consent of the patent holder.
Patents are territorial rights. Generally, the corresponding exclusive rights are only valid in the country or region where the application was filed and the patent granted, in accordance with the laws of that country or region.
Deciding who owns certain genes can be a complex and controversial task. Patents on genetic innovations can play a key role in the race to find treatments for diseases such as cancer.
The first major international agreement concerning the protection of industrial property rights, including patents. In particular, it deals with national treatment, the right of priority and a number of common rules in the field of substantive patent law. More information on the Paris Convention.
What is a patent
In exchange for the monopoly of exploitation, the owner is obliged to describe his invention in such a way that an average person skilled in the art can carry it out. He is also obliged to exploit the patent or utility model, either by himself or through a person authorized by him.
A utility model protects an invention of lower inventive rank than a patent. In general, utility models are improvements to already known devices or tools, i.e. mechanical inventions.
First of all, the invention must not be included in the prohibitions established by the Patent Law and, in addition, the invention must be new, involve an inventive step and have industrial application.
The following can be the object of a patent: a process, a manufacturing method, a machine or apparatus or a product. The law allows that this product may be composed of or contain biological matter, as well as the procedures with which biological matter is produced, transformed or used.
Examples of patents
A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a State to the inventor of a new product or technology, capable of being commercially exploited for a limited period of time, in exchange for the disclosure of the invention. The registration of a patent constitutes the creation of a monopoly in an artificial manner, and is part of industrial property, which in turn is part of the intellectual property regime.
The holder of a patent may be one or several national or foreign persons, natural or juridical, combined in the manner specified in the application, in the percentage mentioned therein. Patent rights fall within what is called industrial property and, like real estate property, these rights may be transferred by acts between living persons or by succession, and may be rented, licensed, sold, exchanged or inherited. Patents can also be valued, in order to estimate the approximate economic amount to be paid for them.