A patent refers to a set of rights that are given to an inventor by a state for a fixed duration. The fixed period is generally 20 years and these exclusive rights can be licenced, sold, mortgaged, given away, transferred or simply abandoned In exchange the inventor should disclose or share his or her invention with the public.
Invention can be a useful process, article of manufacture, composition of matter or machine. This procedure for awarding patents varies between countries. It all depends on international agreements and their national laws.
Your patent application should define your invention which should be useful, new inventive or industrially applicable. Certain subject areas such as mental acts and business methods are left out from patents. In most countries the exclusive right that is granted to an inventor is to prevent others from selling, using, making or importing that invention.
If you violate these you may land up in jail. For example an inventor’ theory is published in some book. No other publication is allowed to publish this theory without the publisher’s consent. If the theory is found in some other publication then the publisher can sue the owner of that publication. Even though patent laws have become strict, there are many who violate these laws. The best example of violation of international patent laws is the thriving market of pirated CDs of various movies. Steps are being taken to stop this illegal activity.
A patent application that is filed under PCT (Patent cooperation treaty) is often referred to as patent application. This treaty provides you a unified procedure to file a patent application.
Examples of some patents for invention are software patents, chemical patents, business method patents and biological patents.
A patent does not mean you have the right to use or practice the invention. Patents can be enforced using civil law suits. Any one who applies for a patent at international level is required to prove that their invention is new.
International patents are exclusive rights that are not only applicable to a particular country but to many countries. Fortunately there are many international treaties that help to apply for patent protection.
If you want to search any international patent application, you can always the help of the internet. There are some websites that contain international patent application.
If you have invented something new and are in applying for an international patent then you must do the following:
You should first decide which geographical territories i.e. countries you want to cover.
You should pick up those areas of the globe where you think that you that your invention would be easily marketable. Identify the fee requirements of those countries where you interested to apply for a patent. Many countries have their own procedures to obtain international patent; familiarize yourself with all these procedures.
Fulfill all requirements that are necessary to obtain an international patent. There are some online libraries that provide rules about various countries in order to obtain an international patent. If necessary consult a lawyer who is an expert in international patent law.