- A patent is a legal protection that permits its holder, for a limited period, the right to exclude others from misusing (making, using, selling, importing) the patented invention, except with the agreement of the owner of the patent.
- A patent is a form of 'industrial property', which can be assigned, transferred, licensed or used by the owner.
- Patents are territorial in effect e.g.; an Indian patent is only valid in India.
- Indian patents, in common with most jurisdictions, have a maximum lifespan of twenty years. To maintain a patent in force, a small annual renewal fee must be paid each year from the third year.
Patent Pending is often used to alert competitors that an application has already been made to protect the invention. It also describes an application that has been filed with the patent office but has not allotted as a patent. Patent-pending protects the inventor, but whether a patent will be even issued, is still undetermined.
Only an inventor can apply for a patent. In case if there are two or more than two people participating in the creation of an invention, as per law, all participants have to apply for a patent as a joint inventor. If a person is making only a financial contribution to an invention, he/she can't be named as a joint inventor.
Types of Patents:
There are different types of patents, but the two following patents are the type entrepreneurs use most often:
- Design Patent
- It gives protection on appearance or ornamental design of your invention
- To receive a design patent, your invention must pass these tests:
- It must have a new, original and ornamental design.
- The novel features of your design must not be obvious.
- Utility patent
- It protects the function or method of one’s invention.
- To obtain a utility patent, the invention must pass four tests:
- Statutory-class test: Your invention must be a process, a machine, manufacture, composition or a "new use" of any one or more of these taxonomies.
- Utility test: Your invention must solve a purpose and considered as useful.
- Novelty test: Your invention has a unique feature that sets it apart from any previous inventions in the same field.
- Non-obviousness test: Your invention's novelty must not be common to someone who has usual skill in the area of your invention. For example, if your invention is a computer chip, the uniqueness of its features must not be similar to another computer chip performing the same task.
Patents may be granted for inventions in any field of technology, from a small daily use product to quantum computing technology. An invention can be a product or can be a process.