A patent is a legal document that grants the patent owner exclusive rights to prevent others from making, using, or selling the patented invention without permission.
Generally, patents last 20 years from the filing date.
The cost varies depending on the complexity of the invention. This includes patent attorneys fees for drafting the patent application, filing fees, professional and official fees for the examination of the patent application in different jurisdictions and maintenance and renewal fees over the life of the patent.
The patent examination process involves:
Yes, through mechanisms like the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and/or direct national filings in regional patent offices, applicants can seek protection in multiple countries based on a first patent application.
Patent infringement occurs when someone uses, makes, sells, or offers to sell a patented invention, as defined in the patent claims, without the patent owner’s permission.
Patent owners can enforce their rights through legal actions, such as filing a lawsuit for patent infringement, seeking injunctive relief, and claiming damages.
Prior art refers to all information relevant to the invention that has been disclosed to the public before the filing date of the patent. It includes existing patents, published literature, and any public disclosure of the invention.
Yes, under certain conditions. Read more here.
In some jurisdictions, inventors/applicants have a grace period (typically 12 months) after public disclosure to file a patent application without it being considered prior art.
A provisional patent application can be filed in US only and secures a filing date but does not mature into a granted patent unless a non-provisional application is filed within a year. It’s often used to establish an early filing date.
It is common to have both a patent and a trademark for a product. The patent protects the invention itself, while the trademark protects the brand name and/or a logo of the product or the company.
A patent protects the functional aspects of an invention, while a design protects the ornamental or aesthetic aspects.
Trade secrets protect confidential information that provides a competitive advantage. Unlike patents, trade secrets are not disclosed and can last indefinitely as long as the information remains confidential.