Patent Protection

Introduction to Patent Protection

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Patents are generally used as commercial tools to gain a bridgehead position over the competition, to prevent unauthorised third parties from copying an invention and/or to act as a source of revenue for the patent owner.

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To be patentable, an invention must fit three criteria:

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  • It must be new
  • It must involve an inventive step
  • It must be industry applicable

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An invention is ‘new’ if it has not previously been made publicly available by a disclosure in a published document or by its use in public. It is, therefore, imperative to file a patent application before the invention is publicly disclosed.

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An invention ‘involves an inventive step’ if it is not obvious in the technical field of the invention. Inventiveness or non-obviousness is a highly subjective question and one on which many court cases have focussed. Technical advantages of an invention over other documents in the technical field of the invention are often used to show an inventive step.

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The third criterion is almost always satisfied with any invention which can be made and used in a commercial activity.

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The National or Regional Patent Office of a country in which a patent application is filed will determine whether an invention meets the requirements for patentability. The process is determined during a search and examination procedure of the application.

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If you are considering filing a patent application then you should speak to a qualified Patent Attorney. They can advise you on which elements of your invention meet the criteria and the process for filing an application.

Our Patent Attorneys can help you with any aspect of your patent including understanding the criteria, preparing and filing your application, renewing and taking legal action.

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If you have a question about IP law or Patent law in any country then contact our expert team today.