Patent protects the invention in any field of technology that is new, involves an inventive step and is susceptible of industrial application. The protection of the patent is valid up to twenty years. Compared to trademarks, invention requires high financial investment — not only the registration procedure, but also the maintenance – especially of a European Patent or an international patent (PCT) — from the patentee. However, only the patentee will be entitled to exploit the solution of the invention or grant licence.
Patent protection is often confused with ’idea’ and I often get the request to protect the idea as a patent. We shall separate from inventions – thus they cannot be patented – the following:
We shall also clarify that ’worldwide patent protection’ does not exist. We can obtain patent protection by national or European application or in the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
Lastly, it shall also be considered whether it is worthwhile to protect the invention as a patent. In some cases, it is not justified as the protection expires after twenty years and the solution will be accessible for the public.
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