In order to protect your invention by means of a patent, it is necessary to draw up a patent application which is filed with the patent granting authority of the country in which you want to establish the patent right. The most important requirements stipulated by patent law for the patentability of a technical invention are novelty and inventive step.
Novelty means that the invention has not yet been published anywhere in the world, so not in a magazine or newspaper, not at a public demonstration and not at a trade fair or on the Internet. Even if the inventor himself presents or sells a product, this means that an invention can no longer be considered to be novel. If you are considering applying for a patent on an invention, the invention must therefore be kept secret until the patent application is filed. If you need to discuss it with third parties, we advise you to do this under a confidentiality agreement. Patentwerk can advise you in this matter and draw up a confidentiality declaration to be signed by your discussion partners.
Inventive step means that the invention must not result in an obvious way from what is already known. For example, inventions are considered not to be inventive if they result from a logical combination of publications in a certain field.
Since the process of applying for a patent involves a considerable investment, it is advisable to find out if your invention is actually novel. Patentwerk can carry out a search of the patent literature for you, but you can also do your own Internet search of what is already known in the field of your invention, including via public patent databases.
Drawing up and filing a patent application
In principle, it is also possible for anyone to draw up and file a patent application themselves, but usually the services of a patent attorney are engaged for this purpose. Patent attorneys have completed university education in a technical field, as well as legal professional training, which enables them to ensure that the wording of the invention is legally sound. In mutual consultation with the inventor(s) a specification is drawn up, which forms the basis for the protection of your invention, and claims are drafted which precisely describe the subject matter for which protection is sought.
This specification and the claims are filed at the relevant patent granting authority, following which you receive a filing certificate with an application number. After a year and a half the application is published and, depending on the country in which the patent has been applied for, there is a pro forma registration or an extensive grant procedure before the patent is granted.
As soon as the patent is granted, fees must be paid in most countries on a regular basis in order to maintain the patent. Patentwerk monitors the deadlines for paying these fees and reminds the patent holder of them in good time.