Understanding the process
Patents give their owners the exclusive right to authorise or to oppose, for a maximum period of twenty years, any use, reproduction, distribution or sale of the invention which is the subject of the protection.
Any individual of Monaco nationality or resident of the Principality can file for an international patent, either with the EPO(European Patent Office), or with the Intellectual Property Division, the World Intellectual Property Organisation. All of the contracting states will be automatically designated with the application. Upon entering the national level, the applicant will still be able to either maintain a broad coverage or to designate specific contracting states.
The application can claim priority over an earlier application (within a maximum period of twelve months). In general, the application is published in the PCT Gazettewithin a period of eighteen months from the date of filing or in order of priority.
Each international patent application generates in an international search, reinforced by a search conducted by the EPO which results in the publication of “an extensive international search report” combining the normal international search report with a preliminary viewpoint addressing whether the invention meets the criteria of patentability (originality, innovation and industrial replication and scaling). As in the standard procedure, the report will be published excluding the viewpoint which will remain with the patent applicant.
It is also possible to request an international preliminary examination based on the international search report, focusing on the patentability criteria ((originality, innovation and industrial replication and scaling).
The results of these reports will allow the applicant to decide whether to continue the proceedings with the various national or regional offices (EPO). The patent will be designated as a national patent, in each country where the national level patent application has been completed (usually within thirty months in order of date priority), provided that the yearly fees continue to be paid.