Understanding the process
A patent is an industrial property title which gives the holder the exclusive right to authorise or to deny, for a maximum of twenty years, all use, reproduction, distribution or sale of the protected invention. A patent is also an effective way of discouraging infringers.
A patent protects a technical invention which may be a product or a procedure which provides a new technical solution to a technical problem. These technical solutions are the product of complex processes which result from commitment, study and research and which allow technology to progress.
It is not possible for an idea to be protected by a patent. Nevertheless, the technical methods implemented to bring about technical solutions are in fact ideas.
A patent submitted in Monaco will be granted without guarantee from the Government, meaning, most importantly, that they will not research the patentability or prior art of the product or procedure.
In order for a patent to protect your invention, as defined by the legislation in force, the innovation must satisfy the patentability criteria.
The invention must be new.
An invention is new when it relates to an innovation which has not already been made available to the public. It is important to specify that if the inventor or any other third party discloses the invention before the patent application is filed, this will be damaging to the novelty of the invention. It is crucial to keep the invention absolutely secret until the application is filed.
It must be possible to use the invention in industry
As far as the law is concerned, the invention of new methods, the new application of methods which are known to gain a result or the invention of an industrial product may all be patented.
Some inventions may not be patented, notably:
- Scientific theories and mathematical methods
- Aesthetic and ornamental creations
- Schemes, rules and methods
- Computer programmes alone
- Pharmaceutical compositions or remedies of any kind
- Inventions which are contrary to public order or good conduct
These inventions may eventually be protected by other kinds of industrial property titles. For example, aesthetic creations can be protected through the registration of a design.