What is a patentable invention?

An invention doesn’t have to be mind-blowing to be patentable. Many inventions in fact represent small but useful improvements. There are however a few requirements which an invention has to comply with in order to be patentable. More particularly, the main requirements are that the invention as claimed in a patent application is novel, inventive and industrially applicable.

In view of the costs involved in filing a patent application it may be desirable before filing to obtain an indication of whether these criteria can be met. De Clercq & Partners can help you to assess whether your invention is likely to meet these criteria.

It is noted however that some national patents are granted without substantive examination. Thus, it may be possible to obtain a granted patent without complying with the requirements of patentability. This may be of interest for attracting investors or tax reductions (please see other FAQ on this topic). However, the validity of such a patent can be questioned when it is used in court to stop a third party from carrying out the invention.

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