Why should you apply for a patent?
By patenting an invention, you can gain a better market position, and at the same time, it forces other competitors to develop their own technical solutions to the problem your invention has already solved. A patent is a national right which means you must apply for a patent in each of the countries where you wish to have patent protection. A patent can only be obtained by the application at a patent office and the protection is valid for a limited time. In most countries, patent protection is valid for 20 years from the filing date.
Three basic requirements for your invention to receive a patent:
- The invention must be new.
- The invention must be considered inventive.
- The invention must be industrially applicable.
The first requirement for getting a patent is that the invention must not have been disclosed before the day when you submit the application. “Having been disclosed” means that it has been published in a journal or in other channels so it becomes publically available. Another example is that the inventor announces his idea publically. It is therefore of considerable importance not to disclose the invention before an application has been submitted. The invention is seen as new unless it has been published anywhere in the world.
Inventive step means that the invention must be substantially different from all that is known prior to the filing of the patent application. The invention may thus not be an obvious solution for a professional person who is considered to have the normal skills and knowledge in the technical field of the invention.
Industrial applicability means that the invention must have a technical character and technological power. The invention must therefore be susceptible of industrial application, which means that it can be manufactured or performed within the industry. In a broad sense, the concepts of technological and industrial are interpreted and referred to both the manufacturing and the use of an invention.