A patent is a right that grants you the exclusive use of an invention, whether it’s a product or a process, for a period of 20 years, preventing third parties from selling, distributing or using it commercially.
However, to be considered as a patent, the invention must be novel, i.e., it shouldn’t already exist on the market when it doesn’t form part of the state of the art; it must involve an inventive step not being obvious to a person skilled in the art; and it must have an industrial application.
A patent is an intangible asset, being a source of profit that can be sold or licensed.
Every kind of invention (product or process) in the technology sector can be patented, as long as it is new, capable of industrial application and innvolves and inventive step. In other words, if an invention is beyond the state of art, it can be patented. However, the criteria for defining inventions and the interpretation of these criteria may differ according to the jurisdiction.
In general, if they meet the aforementioned requirements, patents can protect inventions ranging from machines to medicines or appliances, as well as biological compositions or new ways of obtaining products, substances, or compositions which are already known.
Inventions can also be protected with utility models, and aesthetic inventions with industrial designs:
Utility models are similar to patents as they, equally, provide the monopoly on an invention’s technical aspects. However, Utility Models only require a practical or technical advantage in the manufacture of a product or in the use of a process already known. They are less expensive and faster to obtain, but have a shorter protection period.
Industrial designs offer the exclusive rights that protect the aesthetic aspects of a certain manufactured or handcrafted product, including the decorative aspects, such as its shape or color.
They are an additional source of profit, as they can be sold or licensed.
They prevent third parties from selling, changing, and manufacturing your inventions without your consent or not paying royalties.
They increase the value of your company and attract investors.
We have a highly-specialized and dedicated team to help you understand what a patent, utility model, or industrial design is and to help you define the best protection strategy for your invention. To this end, services exist to cover the monitoring of your rights, the surveillance of harmful and illegal acts by third parties anywhere in the world, the internationalization of the various forms of protection, and the management of your portfolio, which encompasses the provision of updated information about the status of the invention on the market.
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