Application for a Patent
In order to obtain a patent, an application must be filed with the Patent Office of the desired jurisdiction along with all necessary documents and fees. The patent office will conduct an examination to decide whether to grant or reject the application.
The application / filing date is the date on which the patent office received the patent application.
Claims define the invention the applicant intends to protect, and are of the utmost importance during prosecution and litigation. In addition to the basic official renewal fees, some countries charge extra official renewal fees per claims at the time of renewal. These countries are: Indonesia, Japan, Philippines and South Korea. In Vietnam the patent office also charges official fees for the independent number of claims at the time of renewal. All other countries charge fees for the complete number of claims at the time of renewal.
The concept of “designated countries,” applies to the filing of a European patent application according to regulations of the European Patent Convention, as well as to the filing of international patent applications (PCT- applications) filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
A European patent can be obtained for all the EPC member states by filing a single application at the European Patent Office (EPO) in one of the three official languages (English, French or German). European patents granted by the EPO have the same legal rights and are subject to the same conditions as national patents. It is important to note that during the grant procedure each selected member state of the European patent application must be validated at the national patent office by applicant for it to be effective. Once a European patent is granted, annuity fees must be paid annually to the national patent offices of the designated countries. The current number of contracting member states to the EPC is 38; there are also three additional states that recognize the EPC upon request.
Expiry / Expiration Date
This is the date when a patent has reached its full term and is therefore no longer valid.
The grant date is the date when the patent office issues a patent to the applicant.
A temporary right given by the patent office to the applicant / patent owner for a limited period of time to prevent infringement of the technology defined in the patent.
The lapse date is the date when a patent is no longer valid in a country due to failure to pay the required renewal / maintenance fees. In case an unintentional lapse occurred, many patent offices allow reinstatement within a specific time period. The restoration process can be complex and costly and there is no guarantee that it will be granted.
License of Right
In several countries it is possible for anyone to make use of patents in return for the payment of license fees. If patent owners are offering license of right for their inventions they are able to get a discount when paying renewal fees.
The priority date is the first filing date of a patent, industrial design, or trademark, anywhere in the world to obtain protection. It determines the novelty and allows the applicant to file for subsequent applications in another country for the same invention, design, or trademark effective as of the date of filing the first application.
The publication date is the date when the invention is first published and becomes available to the public.