Your company’s R&D department had an innovative idea that can change the market and now you would like to know if the invention that you are about to create is really new or if there is already a similar patented product?
First of all, you must bear in mind that, as far as industrial property is concerned, ideas per se are not inventions. If the idea is feasible, i.e., if its consists of a product (complex, chemical, etc.) or a process for obtaining products then one can say that something new is about to be created. At this inventive stage, an Industrial Property Official Agent should be consulted so to determine whether or not such invention can be protected.
It shall be incumbent upon the Industrial Property Official Agent to:
- determine if the invention meets the patentability requirements, i.e., if it is novel – the product implies an inventive step i.e., having regard to the state of the art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art and is susceptible of industrial application;
- determine if there are inventions likely to remove novelty to the invention concerned;
- determine the markets where protection of the invention is sought, for instance, only in Portugal, or in several European states and/or several countries in the world, so to propose the best strategy for obtaining protection of the invention;
- depending on sub-paragraphs 1) and 2) to propose the most appropriate type of industrial property right for protection of the invention, i.e., if it should be protected through a patent or a utility model.
If the idea consists in creating a product, with the sole intention to protect it from a geometric and/ornamental point of view, it shall be incumbent upon the Industrial Property Official Agent to:
- assess if the product, which must be an industrial or handcraft item, meets the necessary requirements for registration, i.e., if it is novel and possesses individual character, or if though it is not completely novel, it produces new combinations of already disclosed features, or different arrangements of already used features, that give to the product concerned a different overall impression;
- assess, taking into account the creator’s needs and intentions, how the product should be protected, i.e., through a national design, a community design or an international design protection.
For both options, after confirmation of the invention and its patentability, a protection strategy should be afterwards established: how and where to obtain a Patent. Count on us to help you during the whole procedure, we are the right partner.
02 December 2021