Therefore, as the author of an invention, the first step for you is to materialize it so that you can consider protecting it. You will then go to your council with documents demonstrating the materialization of your project.
Once your invention has materialized, the time has come to ask yourself if it can be protected by means of a patent filing: is it patentable and if so, what is the procedure to follow to provide you with maximum protection?
Be careful, even if you have spent a lot of time and sometimes money to materialize your invention, it may not survive the harsh competition law. There is a real risk of third party opposition when filing the patent or even infringement proceedings. No, it doesn't only happen to others!
Is my invention patentable?
You had a great idea and it materializes before your eyes. As an author, you are therefore the owner. However, not everything gives rise to protection by patent law.
To be patentable, a creation must first be an "invention". It is not a "discovery". It does not arise from nature but implies an added value of man, an intervention of the latter. Your invention must relate to truly inventive activity, not result in an obvious manner from the technique known to a person skilled in the art;
- It must be capable of industrial application;
- It must be new and to go further, not have been made accessible to the public even to make them "test" or discover your invention.
Demonstrating your invention means losing your patentability
To be patentable, your invention must be new. This means that beyond having not already been invented, you yourself must not disclose your invention before having filed it.
So beware of exhibitions and other prices where you may be asked to reveal your "secret sauce". It is better to speak in general terms and avoid disclosing all the information allowing the invention to be reconstructed. It is also better to avoid making test versions available to third parties. You could be refused a patent because you disclosed your own invention, canceling its novelty!
Does my invention already exist?
To verify that your invention is new, you must first carry out "prior art searches" before applying for a patent. In other words, you will check if your invention, allowing solving such technical problem, has already been developed and patented by someone else in the same territory.
The similarity between inventions is not only affected by the title of the invention. It is necessary, from keywords, to verify for example that no invention makes it possible to solve the same technical problem by using the same process. This implies having some technical knowledge and vocabulary in the field. This prior art research should be carried out by professionals, lawyers or advisers.
How can I file my patent?
The list of documents requested by the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) must be completed and completed. The main and most complex documents to establish are
- The "detailed description" of the invention (which cannot be changed after filing);
- The "claims", which are to establish with the examiner INPI the scope of protection you are looking for;
- An "abstract", which is a summary of your invention.