A patent is an intellectual home correct that provides the holder, not an working proper, but a correct to prohibit the use by a third party of the patented invention, from a specific date and for a restricted duration (usually twenty years).

Some countries may at the time of registration issue a "provisional patent" and may grant a "grace time period" of 1 12 months 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 enabling speedy dissemination of technical inventions data although reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Depending on the nation, the first "inventor" or the very first "filer" has priority to the patent.

The patent is valid only in a provided territory. As a result, the patent remains nationwide. It is feasible to file a patent application for a specified 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). Thus, a patent application could cover numerous nations.

In return, the invention must be disclosed to the public. idea for an invention In practice, patents are automatically published 18 months after the priority date, that is to say, following the very first filing, except in special instances.

To be patentable, besides the reality that it must be an "invention", an invention should also meet 3 vital criteria.

1. It have to be new, that is to say that practically nothing comparable has ever been available to the public knowledge, by any implies whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anyplace. It also must not match the invention patent content of a patent that was filed but not but published.

2. It must have inventive step, that is to say, it can not be clear from the prior art.

3. It have to have industrial application, that is to say, it can be utilized or produced in any sort of industry, like agriculture (excluding works of artwork or crafts, for example).

When a organization believes that its rivals are unlikely to uncover 1 of its secrets and techniques for the duration of the time period of coverage of any patent, or that the company would not be capable to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can decide on not to file, which carries a risk and a advantage.

The risk: If a competitor finds the identical approach and obtains a patent on it, the company might be prohibited to use his very own invention ( the French law and American law vary on this stage, one particular contemplating the proof at the date of discovery, and the other at the date of publication). French law also involves a so-named exception of "prior personal possession" for a person who can demonstrate 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 particular person on the French territory.

The benefit: If there is no patent, the method is not published and for that reason the firm can count on to proceed operation in theory indefinitely (However in practice, an individual will probably find the idea one particular day, but the duration of protection could finish up longer in total). This method of trade secret and consequently non- patenting is utilized in some cases by the chemical industry.

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