In today’s economy, every company should know the foundations of Intellectual Property (IP). There are quite a few reasons why entrepreneurs should make use of them in their business plans. Even though it is recommended to go to a lawyer for specific legal advice, you can always turn to Legit for a legal guide toward a better understanding of your business needs.
If knowledge is power, undergoing into branches of IP is a potential for having a better position in the market.
What more should you know?
A Patent is a branch of Intellectual Property, granting exclusive rights to the owner. It comes in the form of a document, describing the invention upon which it is granted and the legal situation of its owner. The latter under his/ her “exclusive rights” can decide how and by whom the invention can be exploited.
How to distinguish whether my creation is an invention?
- Your creation might be either a product or a process
- It should provide a solution in the field of technology
- It shall demonstrate novelty, inventive steps and be useful for industrial application
Anyhow, certain inventions can be exempted from patentability if the public order or morality of a State require so.
- Diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods for the treatment of humans or animals
- Plants and animals other than micro-organisms, and essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals other than non-biological and microbiological processes
How do I make profit out of patentability?
Imagine this situation: You are the Founder of a small- enterprise in the field of technology. A Corporate subcontracts you to hand over IT solutions and, as the case might be, any other technological support. During daily work, you find the solution to one of the processes that has worried you for a long time. What do you do?
- First, do your research. Check if there is any actual patent protection to your solution.
- If not, draft a non-disclosure agreement and ask your contractor to sign it. Since the conversation you two are about to have requires the disclosure of sensitive information with regard to the solution you intend to patent, it is advisable to constitute a legally confidential relationship. The NDA should contain a summary of your invention, and how it provides a new solution to the actual support.
- Then you can continue with the patentability.
As aforementioned, a patent grants the owner the subsequent exclusive rights:
- To prohibit others from using, offering for sale, selling, making or importing the subject matter of the patent, without the owners’ consent.
- To assign or transfer the patent, or to wrap up licensing contracts.
- Promotes and secures innovation
- Protects current and upcoming economic interests of inventors
- Informs the public on any new invention
- Supports technological incentives
- Provides fair competition
- Stimulates the enforcement of law
- Increases productivity
- Introduces new products and services.
Owing to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), a single application in one of the contracting states provides protections in all the 153 contracting States. Given that Albania is a contracting state to PCT, any interested inventor can apply online at the national patent register. If the conditions are adequate and the application is not rejected, the protection is granted for a period of 20 years, in all member states of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
Just make sure to fully describe the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be understood, and also indicate the best mode for carrying out the invention.
The application might get rejected for different reasons:
- It is not new. There is an existing patent to your claimed invention.
- It provides no specific solution.
- The application has grammar errors, shows insufficiency in describing the process/ product, and any other mistake in providing numbers, lines or drawings of the process/ product.
On an International level, there are several treaties providing patent protection.
- The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883)
- The World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) (1994)
- The Patent Cooperation Treaty – provides procedural issues (1970) and
- The Patent Law Treaty – provides procedural issues (2000)
Other regional patent offices are
- The African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI);
- The Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO);
- The European Patent Office (EPO);
- The Patent Office of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Be creative! Be inventive!