Patent protection is often essential to ensure a successful return on the investments made in an invention. Therefore, pending or existing patents is one of the key components a potential investor will look for before investing in a company.
A patent is the legal protection offered to an invention. A patent gives the proprietor the exclusive right to produce, sell or import the invention. This means that the holder of a patent can prohibit others from using the invention. Patentable inventions are not limited to products. On the contrary, patents can be granted to other inventions as well, such as manufacturing processes, measuring methods or, in some cases, the use of a certain substance in a specific manufacturing process. It is therefore important to analyze all aspects of an invention. For example, a new product often requires a new manufacturing method. Protection can in such situations be granted for both the product and the method.
The protection offered by a patent is defined by the patent claims, i.e. the wording used in the patent application to define the invention. It is therefore very important that the patent claims are worded with care. As mentioned above, patent protection can be granted for many aspects of an invention. Therefore, it is not unusual for a patent to include several independent patent claims. The exact wording of the patent claims is something an IP counsel can assist with.
A patent is generally valid for 20 years from the day of the patent application, as long as the yearly fees are paid. In relation to certain products, for example pharmaceutical products, an additional five years can be added to the protection. A patent is always limited to the jurisdiction(s) where it is registered.
If you want to know more, please contact Sara Sparring.