A patent is an intellectual home proper that offers the holder, not an operating correct, but a correct to prohibit the use by a third celebration of the patented invention, from a certain date and for a constrained duration (typically twenty years).

Some nations may at the time of registration situation a "provisional patent" and may grant a "grace time period" of one particular 12 months 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 advantage of making it possible for quick dissemination of technical details even though reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Depending on the nation, the first "inventor" or the first how to file a patent "filer" has priority to the patent.

The patent is valid only in a provided territory. Hence, the patent remains 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 nations (with the EPO for 38 European countries, filing a PCT application for the 142 signatories of the Treaty). Therefore, a patent application may possibly cover many countries.

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

To be patentable, aside from the patent an idea fact that it should be an "invention", an invention must also meet three vital criteria.

1. It need to be new, that is to say that nothing related has ever been available to the public information, by any signifies whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anyplace. It also ought to not match the articles of a patent that was filed but not nevertheless published.

2. It need to have inventive step, that is to say, it cannot be evident market an invention idea from the prior art.

3. It should have industrial application, that is to say, it can be utilised or produced in any type of industry, which includes agriculture (excluding works of art or crafts, for example).

When a company believes that its rivals are unlikely to learn one of its secrets and techniques for the duration of the period of coverage of any patent, or that the firm would not be able to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can decide on not to file, which carries a chance and a benefit.

The danger: If a competitor finds the identical procedure and obtains a patent on it, the business may possibly be prohibited to use his personal invention ( the French law and American law differ on this level, a single taking into consideration the proof at the date 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 person who can demonstrate that the alleged invention was indeed infringed already in its possession prior to the filing date of the patent application. In such situation, operation would only be capable to carry on for that man or woman on the French territory.

The advantage: If there is no patent, the technique is not published and therefore the company can assume to proceed operation in theory indefinitely (Nonetheless in practice, a person will possibly discover the thought a single day, but the duration of protection could end up longer in complete). This technique of trade secret and consequently non- patenting is utilised in some circumstances by the chemical business.