A patent is a registered intellectual property right which gives an inventor a monopoly right to prevent third parties from making, importing or marketing a product or process which incorporates the invention without consent.
A patent may only be granted to an invention if:
- It is new
- It involves an inventive step
- It is capable of industrial application
Businesses should be aware that disclosure to third party prior to a patent application being filed could invalidate the application (even if it has not been commercially exploited). If the patent is granted, the invention can be protected for 20 years from its filing date.
A transfer or licensing of a patent to a third party on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis can be lucrative for the patent holder. The Law Department has experience of drafting patent related contracts including licensing agreements, research and development agreements, co-operation agreements, distribution agreements and non-disclosure agreements.