What is a patent?
A patent is an industrial property title giving the holder the exclusive right to exploit the invention it covers, preventing others from manufacturing, selling or using it without consent.
Patent registration provides protection for 20 years from the date of application and cannot be extended.
The patent gives the owner the right to exclusive use and exploitation of the invention protected by the patent and the right to prevent any person from manufacturing, offering, marketing or using a product covered by the patent.
If the patent is a process, the protection conferred shall extend to the product directly obtained by the patented process. Obligation to work by the owner or by an authorized third party.
What is its protection status ?
The following are not patentable inventions: discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods; literary or artistic works or any other aesthetic creation as well as scientific works; plans, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or economic and business activities, as well as computer programs, etc.
Inventions contrary to public order and morality also cannot be patented.
The right to patent belongs to the inventor or their successors. There is a special regime for inventions made by an employee as part of an employment contract. The invention must be new (not to be included in the technical state of the world), involve an inventive step (the content of the invention does not result from the state of the art in a manner that is obvious to an expert on the subject), capable of industrial application (manufactured or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture).
Scope of protection.
National: protection within the country.
Community: protection in countries designated in the application and that are part of the Munich European Patent convention. A single application to the European Patent Office (may be processed by the National Office), once granted, takes effect as a national patent in each of the states for which it is granted.
International: protection via the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) in each of the states party to the International Treaty and specified in the application.
PCT means "Patent Cooperation Treaty".
How can you apply?
Based on a patent or a utility model previously requested in Spain.
This is not a procedure for granting patents, nor does it replace their awarding at a national level; rather it is a system that unifies processing prior to granting.
This procedure allows you to "buy time", because it can delay your decision to enter the national phase up to 30 months from the international filing date or give priority, if necessary, and keep the invention secret for at least 18 months, which may be helpful to gauge its viability and avoid unnecessary expenses.
The OEPM acts as the receiving office for International PCT applications by Spanish owners.
The most interesting of all is the EUROPEAN PATENT.
The european patent
The European patent provides protection through direct European patent application, designating those European states where protection is sought and that are part of the European Patent Convention.
European patent application may be filed with the OEPM but is processed by European Patent Offices, granting the effect of a national patent in each of the states to which it is granted.