A patent is an intellectual house right that provides the holder, not an working right, but a appropriate to prohibit the use by a third party of the patented invention, from a specified date and for a limited duration (typically 20 years).
Some countries could at the time of registration issue a "provisional patent" and may possibly grant a "grace time period" of 1 yr which avoids the invalidity of the patent to an inventor who disclosed his invention ahead of filing a patent in a non-confidential basis with the benefit of enabling rapid dissemination of technical details although reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Depending on the country, the 1st "inventor" or the 1st "filer" has priority to innovative ideas the patent.
The patent is valid only in a offered territory. Therefore, the patent stays national. It is attainable 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 nations, filing a PCT application for the 142 signatories of the Treaty). Hence, a patent application may possibly cover several countries.
In return, the invention should be disclosed to the public. In practice, patents are automatically published 18 months soon after the priority date, that is patent office to say, right after the first filing, except in special instances.
To be patentable, apart from the fact that it should be an "invention", an invention need to also meet three essential criteria.
1. It should be new, that is to say that nothing similar has ever been accessible to the public knowledge, by any means whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anyplace. It also need to not match the articles of a patent that was filed but not however published.
2. It need to have inventive stage, that is to say, it can not be apparent from the prior art.
3. It must have industrial application, that is to say, it can be utilised or produced in any sort of industry, which includes agriculture (excluding performs of artwork or crafts, for example).
When a firm believes that its competitors are unlikely innovative products to discover one of its secrets and techniques throughout the period of coverage of any patent, or that the firm would not be ready to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can pick not to file, which carries a risk and a benefit.
The risk: If a competitor finds the very same method and obtains a patent on it, the business could be prohibited to use his own invention ( the French law and American law differ on this stage, 1 considering the evidence at the date of discovery, and the other at the date of publication). French law also consists of a so-known as exception of "prior personalized 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 such situation, operation would only be in a position to carry on for that person on the French territory.
The benefit: If there is no patent, the strategy is not published and as a result the company can count on to proceed operation in theory indefinitely (Even so in practice, someone will almost certainly find the concept 1 day, but the duration of protection could end up longer in complete). This technique of trade secret and for that reason non- patenting is utilised in some situations by the chemical market.