INVENTIONS / UTILITY MODELS
A patent protects the exclusivity of an invented and developed technical solution. Being a creator of a concept, or even having implemented a developed (often with difficulty) technical solution, does not give any protection against a widespread and uncontrolled copying by competitors.
A patent serves as a tool for building a dominant market position, limitation (by legal means) of competition, return of expenditures made on research or tests, it gives an opportunity to implement and market innovative solutions.
is a new technical solution involving an inventive step and susceptible for industrial application.
An invention is considered new if it does not form part of the state of the art, i.e. was not publicly disclosed anywhere in the world (including in a written or oral description, through application, presentation at an exhibition/fair etc.) before the date of first application. If the invention needs to be demonstrated to third parties before the application is made, a confidentiality agreement should be concluded.
An invention involves an inventive step (non-obviousness, importance of an invention) if it is not obvious to a person skilled in the the art (which means that the invention cannot be derived based on what is publicly known using simple logic, without any creative input).
In the light of the above, the following solutions are not regarded as involving inventive step:
- change in product size only to make it mobile;
- combination of a number of known solutions/elements (aggregation) if it does not lead to the creation of a new function of such a solution or yield a more advantageous final effect, compared to the partial effects of the components thereof;
- replacement of components applied with known substitutes.
Technical character: the nature of the invention should be defined by specific technical features/means that help differentiate the invention from solutions known in the state of the art.
Industrial application: the effect of the application must not be merely theoretical, it must be useful and repeatable in any industrial operation, i.e. any operation of a technical nature, including agriculture.
Inventions help solve the problem with:
- manufacturing, use, sale or import - application of products based on a proprietary solution by competitors;
- protection against the alleged breach of third party rights to technical solutions;
- assuring the reliability of trading - preventing the theft of an invention and patenting an identical invention by a competitor;
- inflow of cheaper goods/services of lower quality based on the invention;
- any invention marketed by a competitor having much broader organisational and financial capacities;
- potential loss of right to the invention due to it being made public and entering public domain;
- very lengthy judicial proceedings and high costs incurred to prove the rights to the invention.
Additional opportunities provided by inventions:
- basis for building a company business - gaining dominant market position, limiting the opportunities of the competitors, return on investments,
- patents for inventions may be inherited and disposed of (sale, donation, exchange, pledge, collateral),
- as business assets they boost goodwill and may be the subject of contribution, basis for additional funding, collateral of liabilities (e.g. credits),
- source of additional revenue - licence,
- source of reduced tax charges: lease, contribution in kind,
- access to otherwise unavailable technical solutions - joining forces based on mutual licences,
- source if additional revenue - opportunity to market the solution where it has not been available.
Inventions may be patented following a number of procedures:
national procedure – on the territory of the specific state:
- the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland (PPO),
- national offices in individual countries
regional procedure – on the territory of the specific region
- European Patent Organisation (EPO)
- Euroasian Patent Organisation (EAPO)
- Africa Regional Industrial Property Organisation (ARIPO)
- Africa Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI)
- international procedure (Patent Cooperation Treaty) - in states specified in the application: World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
The protection of inventions stretches over the states covered in the application, it starts with the date of submitting the application to the competent Patent Office and its duration depends on the legislation in force in the specific state (usually it is 20 years) and on submitting a request to extent the patent over the next periods of protection and making payments for said extension.
We offer solutions tailored to the needs of Customers and the market:
- legal and patent-related advice for entrepreneurs in terms of inventions (selection, protection, infringement and defence);
- research of the state of the art in relation to inventions;
- drawing up application documentation and handling the registration process necessary to obtain the final decision of the competent Patent Office (directly before UPRP, EPO, WIPO or through local agents in specific states)
- supervision over time limits of maintaining protection rights for inventions (national, regional and international),
- monitoring of registers held by the national Offices with regard to cases of infringement of patents for inventions,
- appraisal of inventions,
- transfer and licensing of inventions, including rights to works developed by an employee under an employment relationship,
- representation before the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland (UPRP), Provincial Administrative Courts (WSA), Supreme Administrative Court (NSA), common courts, including the Supreme Court, the European Patent Organisation (EPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WPIO/OMPI) with regard to patent infringement and exercising of rights under patents,
- handling civil and criminal proceedings related to patent infringement.
A small patent, a minor invention, a mechanism, a structure, construction, shape, technical solution, utility model application, utility model registration - all these terms fall into one:
this is a new and useful solution of a technical nature relating to the shape, structure, or a durable assembly.
A utility model is regarded useful if it helps to achieve an objective that has a practical significance in the making of objects (employing craft or industrial methods) and the use of products in line with the utility model.
A utility model is considered new if it does not form part of the state of the art, i.e. was not publicly disclosed anywhere in the world (including in a written or oral description, through application, presentation at an exhibition/fair etc.) before the date of first application. If the utility model needs to be demonstrated to third parties before the application is made, a confidentiality agreement should be concluded.
Note: utility models are not protected in every state, the scope of protection may also vary considerably depending on the state.
The protection of utility models stretches over the states covered in the application, it starts with the date of submitting the application to the competent Patent Office and its duration depends on the legislation in force in the specific state (it is usually shorter than in the case of patents for inventions, in Poland the maximum period of utility model protection is 10 years) and on submitting a request to extent the protection over the next periods of protection and making payments for said extension.