General information

Patents may be applied for technical inventions. 

A patent grants the patent owner an exclusive right on the market regarding offers, manufacture, sale and use of the invention and allows the owner to prohibit third parties to use, offer, manufacture, or sell the patented product or method.

The invention as claimed in a patent may also be licensed to third parties. A patent can also be sold.

A patent is granted provided the invention is novel, inventive and industrially applicable. It is recommended to perform a search of the state of the art to the invention in order to assure that the invention is novel and inventive.

Application of a patent

A patent application contains a carefully written description and graphic representation of the invention as well as the patent claims, which define the scope of protection of the patent applied for.

Please note: It is important that the invention be kept secret and is not published or shown to others prior to the filing date of the patent application with a patent office. Else the novelty of the invention is put at risk and the patent may be nullified.

Scope of protection

A patent grants protection of a technical invention as defined by the patent claims. A patent is a territorial right and is valid in the country where it is filed and granted. In order to reach patent protection in several countries, a patent must be filed in each of these countries or for a group of countries (for example a European patent application).

Term of a patent

A patent can be held in force as long as annuity fees are paid, however up to a maximum time of 20 years from the application date.

Patent protection combined with design and/or trademark protection

A patent protection can provide a meaningful addition to the IP of an enterprise if combined with a design patent and/or with a trademark.