1- What is a patent?

A patent is a set of exclusive legal rights usually granted by a national or regional competent authority to an inventor to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, importing into, or selling the patented invention throughout certain jurisdiction(s) for a limited time.


2- What can be patented?

What can be patented – utility patents are provided for a new, nonobvious and useful:

  • Process
  • Machine
  • Article of manufacture
  • Composition of matter
  • Improvement of any of the above


3- What cannot be patented?

  • Laws of nature
  • Physical phenomena
  • Abstract ideasLiterary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works (these can be Copyright protected).

Inventions which are:

  • Not useful (such as perpetual motion machines); or
  • Offensive to public morality


Invention must also be:

  • Novel
  • Nonobvious
  • Adequately described or enabled (for one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention)
  • Claimed by the inventor in clear and definite terms


4- Patent protection in foreign countries

Usually, patent gives you the right to sue anyone who makes, uses, or sells your invention within the country where the patent is granted. If you desire protection in foreign countries, you must file patent applications in those countries. However, many foreign patent laws bar the grant of a patent if, before you filed in the foreign country, you displayed, sold to the public, or described your invention in a printed publication anywhere in the world. Therefore, early in the patent process, you should decide whether or not to seek foreign patent protection so that you can avoid doing anything that might prevent your obtaining foreign patent protection.