Some countries may possibly at the time of registration problem a "provisional patent" and might grant a "grace time period" of one particular year which avoids the invalidity of the patent to an inventor who disclosed his invention before filing a patent in a non-confidential basis with the advantage of allowing quick dissemination of technical information although reserving the industrial exploitation of the invention. Depending on the nation, the initial "inventor" or the 1st "filer" has priority to the patent.
The patent is valid only in a provided territory. Thus, the patent stays national. It is achievable to file a patent application for a specific country (INPI for France, the USPTO for the U.S., JPO for Japan), or a group of countries (with the EPO for 38 European countries, filing a PCT application for the 142 signatories of the Treaty). As a result, a patent application could cover many nations.
In return, the invention have to be disclosed to the public. In practice, patents are instantly published 18 months soon after the priority date, that is to say, following the very first filing, except in special situations.
To be patentable, besides the fact that it should be an "invention", an invention have to also meet 3 important criteria.
1. It must be new, that is to say that absolutely nothing related has ever been available to the public information, by any indicates whatsoever (written, oral, use. ), and anywhere. It also must not match the articles of a patent that was filed but not but published.
2. It have to have inventive step, that is to say, it are not able to be clear from the prior artwork.
3. It should have industrial application, that is to say, it can be used or produced in any variety of sector, like agriculture (excluding works of art or crafts, for illustration).
When a firm believes that its competitors are unlikely to learn one particular of its secrets and techniques throughout the period of coverage of any patent, or that the firm would not be capable to detect infringement or enforce its rights, it can choose not to file, which carries a chance and a advantage.
The risk: If a competitor finds the exact same process and obtains a patent on it, the business may be prohibited to use his own invention ( the French law and American law differ on this level, a single thinking about the evidence at the date of discovery, and the other at the date of publication). French law also contains a so-named exception of "prior personalized possession" for a particular person who can prove that the alleged invention was indeed infringed currently in its possession prior to the filing date of the patent application. In such case, operation would only be in a position to innovative products proceed for that person on the French territory.
The advantage: If there is no patent, the method is not published and for that reason the firm can expect to proceed operation in theory indefinitely (Even so in practice, a person will probably locate the thought a single day, but the duration of safety may possibly end up longer in complete). This system of trade secret and consequently non- patenting is utilized in some situations by the chemical market.