WHAT IS A PATENT?
A patent is an exclusive legal right granted for an invention. An invention is a product or process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
WHAT MADE THE PATENT?
The patent provides its proprietor with legal protection for an invention. The protection is granted for a fixed period of 20 years, if renewal fees are paid annually for the maintenance of the patent in force.
WHAT KIND OF PROTECTION DOES PATENTS OFFER?
Patent protection means that an invention may not be marketed, used, distributed or sold without the approval of the patent owner. These patent rights are enforced by the court, which has the authority to prohibit patent infringement. On the other hand, the court may also decide to revoke a patent, as a result of a successful claim by third parties.
WHAT ARE THE PATENT OWNER RIGHTS?
The patent owner has the right to decide who may or may not use the patented invention for the period during which the invention is protected. The patent owner may grant authorization or license to other parties to use the invention, subject to mutually agreed terms. The owner can also sell the invention to someone else, who then becomes the new owner of the patent. With the expiration of the patent term, the protection also ends and the invention becomes valid for public use. This means that the owner no longer has exclusive rights over the invention, which becomes valid to be used for commercial purposes by others.
WHY DO PATENTS NEED?
Patents provide incentives to individuals, providing them with recognition for their creativity and financial reward for their marketable inventions. These incentives promote innovation, which ensures the continuous increase of the quality of human life.
WHAT ROLE DO PATENTS PLAY IN DAILY LIFE?
It is a fact that patented inventions have entered every aspect of human life, from electric lighting (patented by Edison and Swani) and plastic (patented by Baekeland), to spherical point pens (patents are held by the Bureau ) and microprocessors (patents are held by Intel).
All patent owners must make public the information on their invention in order to enrich the entire body of technical knowledge in the world. This ever-growing body of public knowledge fosters further creativity and innovation in others. In this way, patents provide valuable information and inspiration for future generations of researchers and inventors.