WHAT CAN BE PATENTED?

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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.

To be patentable, the invention needs to be new (novelty), involve an inventive step and industrially applicable. Generally, it can be said that a patent should be a technical solution to a problem. Excluded from patents are, for example, natural discoveries, scientific methods, mathematical formulas and artistic creation as these are not considered technical solutions to a problem.

The requirements for what can be patentable can differ in the various jurisdictions around the world. Software is, for example, excluded from patents in the European Patent Convention. In the USA, no such exclusion exists. Therefore, it may be that certain software related innovations are patentable in the USA and not patentable in Europe.

As stated above, to be patentable the invention needs novelty, involve an inventive step and be industrially applicable. The novelty criteria is in essence absolute and includes everything made available to the public by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way prior to the filing of the patent application. It doesn’t matter if it is the inventor or someone else making the invention public. It is therefore critical to keep the invention secret prior to filing the patent. The inventive step means that the invention is not obvious to a person skilled in the art. To be industrially applicable, the invention must be able to be produced or utilized in any kind of industry. Industrially applicable stipulates that the invention must be reproducible, i.e. the result should, in principle, be the same every time.

For further information, please contact Elisabeth Sundberg.

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