Some nations might at the time of registration problem a "provisional patent" and may possibly grant a "grace period" of 1 yr which avoids the invalidity of the patent to an inventor who disclosed his invention just before filing a patent in a non-confidential basis with the benefit of allowing fast dissemination of technical details while reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Dependent on the country, the first "inventor" or the 1st "filer" has priority to the patent.
The patent is legitimate only in a offered territory. Therefore, the patent stays national. It is feasible to file a patent application for a specified country (INPI for France, the USPTO for the U.S., JPO for Japan), or a group of countries (with the EPO for 38 European nations, filing a PCT application for the 142 signatories of the Treaty). Hence, a patent application may cover a number of countries.
In return, the invention need to be disclosed to the public. In practice, patents are immediately published 18 months right after the priority date, that is to say, following the 1st filing, except in specific situations.
To be patentable, besides the reality that it need to be an "invention", an invention must also meet three essential criteria.
1. It should be new, that is to say that nothing comparable has ever been accessible to the public information, by any implies whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anywhere. It also ought to not match the articles of a patent that was filed but not yet published.
2. It must have inventive step, that is to say, it are not able to be evident from the prior art.
3. It must have industrial application, that is to say, it can be employed or manufactured in any kind of business, such as agriculture (excluding operates of artwork or crafts, for instance).
When a firm believes that its competitors are unlikely to find out one particular of its strategies in the course of the time period of coverage of any patent, or that the organization would not be in a position to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can select not to file, which carries a danger and a benefit.
The chance: If a competitor finds the exact same approach and obtains a patent on it, the company may be prohibited to use his own invention ( the French law and American law vary on this stage, a single contemplating the evidence at the date of discovery, and the patent attorneys other at the date of publication). French law also consists of a so-known as exception of "prior individual possession" for a particular person who can prove that the alleged invention was without a doubt infringed currently in its possession prior to the filing date of the patent application. In such situation, operation would only be in a position to proceed for that person on the French territory.
The advantage: If there is no patent, the approach is not published and therefore the company can count on to continue operation in theory indefinitely (Even so in practice, someone will almost certainly uncover the notion 1 day, but the duration of protection could patent office finish up longer in total). This program of trade secret and as a result non- patenting is employed in some circumstances by the chemical industry.