A patent is an exclusive right for an invention granted by authorized bodies (government) to the owner of the patent (inventors) or his/their assignee for a limited period of time (generally 20 years subject to the payment of maintenance fees). The purpose of this exclusive right is to give the patent holder the legal authority to stop others from, exploiting, using or selling the invention that is the subject of the patent. In exchange for the ownership rights, the applicant has to disclose the patent information to the public.
The monopoly rights to the patent owner can last for up to twenty years enabling the patent owner to recover costs associated with development and be rewarded financially for their efforts. However, once the patent protection is expired, the public may use the invention described in the patent.
A patent owner has the right to exclude others from exploiting, using, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention in the country of protection without the patent owner’s consent. That means, the patent owner is the only one who can decide who may – or may not – use the patented invention for the period in which the invention is protected. In general, patenting your inventions will grant you the follow right:
Patent protection is granted for a limited period time (generally 20 years) from the date of filing the application. In case of national phase applications under the PCT, international application date is treated as the date of the application. Patent registration is subjected to the payment of maintenance fees (renewal annuities) regularly throughout the term of the patent protection. Otherwise the patent lapses before its term.
Almost every country has its own patent law. That means, an application must be made in every country in which patent protection is sought. In general, the exclusive rights are granted by a national patent office, or regional offices, such as the EAPO, EPO, ARIPO, OAPI or GCC