A patent is a monopoly right granted by the state to stop others from making, using or selling your invention without permission.
- Patents protect the way things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made.
- Patent rights can last for up to 20 years.
- Patents are an item of property that can be bought, rented or hired.
- Patents can be obtained in multiple jurisdictions through an international application process.
- It can take between 3 to 5 years to obtain a patent.
It is necessary to assess whether your invention satisfies the legal requirements for patenting. Below are factors that you need to consider before obtaining a patent:
- Is it ‘new’ and as yet undisclosed to the public?
- The idea must be more than just an abstraction. To be an invention you should know how it will work.
- The invention must also be ‘capable of industrial application’.
- It must not be obvious to a person skilled in the particular field of the invention, although a ‘better mousetrap’ can be an invention.
- A patent search ensures your idea is not already known.
- A patent search helps in drafting the patent specification to position it among other patents.
- A patent application plants the flag for any future applications anywhere in the world. It gives you a ‘patent pending’ status.