What is patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention - a product or process that provides a new way of doing something, or that offers a new technical solution to a problem

A patent provides patent owners with protection for their inventions Protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years


Why are patents necessary?

Patents provide incentives to individuals by recognizing their creativity and offering the possibility of material reward for their marketable Inventions. These incentives encourage innovation, which in turn enhances the quality of human life


What kind of protection do patents offer?

Patent protection means an invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed or sold without the patent owner's consent Patent rights are usually enforced in courts that, in most
systems, hold the authority to stop patent infringement Conversely, a court can also declare a patent invalid upon a successful challenge by a third party


What rights do patent owners have?

A patent owner has the right to decide who may - or may not - use the patented invention for the period during which It is protected Patent owners may give permission to, or license, other parties to use their inventions on mutually agreed terms. Owners may also sell their invention rights to someone else, who then becomes the new owner of the patent. Once a patent expires, protection ends and the invention enters the public domain This is also known as becoming oft patent, meaning the owner no longer holds exclusive rights to the invention, and it becomes available for commercial exploitation by others.


What role do patents play in everyday life?

Patented Inventions have pervaded every aspect of human life, from electric lighting (patents held by Edison and Swan) and sewing machines (patents held by Howe and Singer), to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (patents held by Damadlan) and the IPhone (patents held by Apple)


In return for patent protection, all patent owners are obliged to publicly disclose Information on their inventions in order to enrich by the patent the total body of technical knowledge intheworld Thisever- increasing body of public knowledge promotes further creativity and innovation.   Patents therefore   provide not only protection for their owners but alsovaluable information and inspiration for future generations of researchersand Inventors.

How is a patent granted?

The first step in securing a patent is to file a patent application The application generally contains the title of the invention, as well as an indication of its technical field It must include the background and a description of the invention, in clear language and enough detail that an individual with an average understanding of the field could use or reproduce the invention. Such descriptions are usually accompanied by Visual materials - drawings, plans or diagrams - that describe the invention in qreater detail The application also contains various" claims", that is, information to help determine the extent of protection to be granted by the patent


What kinds of inventions can be protected?

An Invention must, In general, fulfill the following conditions to be protected by a patent. It must be of practical use; it must show an element of "novelty", meaning some new characteristic that is
not part of the body of existing knowledge in its particular technical field That body of existing knowledge is called "prior art".

The invention must show an "inventive step" that could not be deduced by a person with average knowledge of the technical field. Its subject matter must be accepted as "patentable" under law. In many countries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, plant or animal varieties, discoveries of natural substances, commercial methods or methods of medical treatment (as opposed to medical products) are not generally patentable.


Who grants patents?

Patents are granted by national patent offices or by regional offices that carry out examination work for a group of countries - for example, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) Under such regional patent protection within its borders. The WIPO-administered Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides for the filing of a single international patent application that has the same effect as national applications filed in the designated countries. An applicant seeking protection may file one application and request protection in as many signatory states as needed.