Inventions with granted patents mean a person cannot manufacture for profit-making, use, import, sell, or distribute the products or processes without consent from the patent owner.

What Rights Do Granted Patents Entitle an Inventor?

A patent owner has exclusive rights to his or her invention. The invention could be a new, technical way of doing something or solving a problem or it could be a product. Technical details about the product or process get made public through a patent application. Patents are not permanent. They expire, and at such time, protection once given to the owner of the product ends. Then the invention becomes part of the public domain. As an open process or product, anyone is free to exploit it in the market, without a risk of infringing the patent.

After receiving granted patents, the owner can use his or her entitled protection to:

  • Sell the invention's right to someone else, making him or her the new patent owner.
  • Give permission or license the use of the invention to another party under conditions and terms of which both sides agree.

Patents do not provide its owner international protection for an invention. The rights which accompany any granted patents received are territorial only. It means the owner just has exclusive rights as it applies to the specific laws of the region or country where the patent gets filed and granted.

What Are the Requirements To Get a Patent

The conditions for getting a patent are numerous. To assemble an exhaustive, universal list would be impossible. However, there are qualifiable circumstances that are principal when applying for the patented rights of an invention. Some of the criteria include the following items listed below:

  • An invented product or process must present a new element not already known in "prior art" or have a sense of novelty that the body of existing knowledge in the related technical field does not already recognize.
  • The invention must include the "non-obvious" or an "inventive step," which a person possessing a standard skillset in the relevant field of technology cannot discern as self-explanatory.
  • Patent claims must prove that an invented process or product goes beyond that of having a general application. The invention must be useful when applied for business or industrial purposes. It also needs recognition as being "patentable," which in many countries would exclude:
    • medical treatment methods
    • scientific theories
    • commercial techniques
    • aesthetic creations
    • animal or plant varieties
    • mathematical methods
  • The product or process should have a complete and precise application disclosure that if given to a person with an average skill level in the related technical field, he or she would be able to able to replicate it.

Who Grants Patents?

Either a national patent office or an office of a region responsible for several countries grants patents. These are the regional patent offices that are active now:

  • GCC Patent Office, which is the patent office of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
  • ARIPO, which is the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization
  • OAPI, which is the African Intellectual Property Organization
  • EPO, which is the European Patent Office
  • EAPO, which is the Eurasian Patent Office

Regional offices accept patent applications as if they were national applications requesting invention rights in one or more member states for one of the above organizations. The agency will only grant protection if all the criteria for regional patents get met. As it stands, there exists no international or universal structure for the granting of exclusive rights.

Should You Hire a Lawyer When Getting a Patent?

A person can prepare a patent application and apply without seeking help from a patent attorney. However, it is not advisable because relevant documents are involved. They require specific legal skills to complete. For claim drafting, many would recommend that an inventor gets legal help from a lawyer or patent agent. Further, the laws of many countries require applicants whose regular residence or primary place of business is not within the state to attain legal representation from an attorney or agent qualified to practice in the territory. You can get information on certified agents and attorneys straight from the regional or national Intellectual Property offices.

If you need help with granted patents, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.