A patent is a right that is granted for an invention. It can take the form of a new product, process or technical improvement to existing technology.

When you register a patent for your invention, you hold the exclusive right to use the patent. This means that no other person can take advantage of that patent, unless your permission is sought.

When your patent portfolio is properly managed, it can present many economic opportunities – whether as a means to develop new and cutting-edge technologies, raise investment, or extract value from third parties through sale or licensing.

For an invention to be patentable, it must, in general, satisfy three key criteria:

  1. New – The invention should not be publicly known in any way, anywhere in the world. Owners of inventions should be careful to keep the invention secret until a patent application has been successfully made. If the idea has already been talked about, commercially exploited, advertised or demonstrated, then the novelty of the invention may be compromised.
  2. Inventive step – The invention must be an improvement over any existing product or process that is already available. The improvement must not be obvious to someone with technical skills or knowledge in the field of the invention.
  3. Industrial application – The invention must be useful and have some form of practical application. It should be capable of being made or used in some form of industry.

Once your patent is granted, it will be protected for 20 years from the Date of Filing. Thereafter, the patent is to be maintained yearly, starting from the 5th year.