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Background info

Background information regarding patents, intellectual property, etc.

Patent primer

[from Wikipedia] A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to an inventor or his assignee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention.

Patent Law: Patent Law Basics

The procedure for granting patents, the requirements placed on the patentee and the extent of the exclusive rights vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements. Typically, however, a patent application must include one or more claims defining the invention which must be new, inventive, and useful or industrially applicable. In many countries, certain subject areas are excluded from patents, such as business methods and mental acts. The exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent others from making, using, selling, or distributing the patented invention without permission.


Patent Law

A patent is not a right to practice or use the invention.[2] Rather, a patent provides the right to exclude others[2] from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent, which is usually 20 years from the filing date. A patent is, in effect, a limited property right that the government offers to inventors in exchange for their agreement to share the details of their inventions with the public. Like any other property right, it may be sold, licensed, mortgaged, assigned or transferred, given away, or simply abandoned.



A patent is requested by filing a written application at the relevant patent office. The application contains a description of how to make and use the invention that must provide sufficient detail for a person skilled in the art (i.e., the relevant area of technology) to make and use the invention. In some countries there are requirements for providing specific information such as the usefulness of the invention, the best mode of performing the invention known to the inventor, or the technical problem or problems solved by the invention. Drawings illustrating the invention may also be provided.

The application also includes one or more claims, although it is not always a requirement to submit these when first filing the application. The claims set out what the applicant is seeking to protect in that they define what the patent owner has a right to exclude others from making, using, or selling, as the case may be. In other words, the claims define what a patent covers or the "scope of protection".


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The information on the pages of the HUMAINE Association's Patent SIG is provided "AS IS", without any express or implied warranty of any kind. For example, there is no guarantee of correctness or completeness, or any other guarantee of any kind. Under no circumstance shall the SIG Board or the HUMAINE Association be held liable for any damage that may arise from the use of this information in any way.


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