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A patent is a legal title that can be granted for any invention having a technical character, provided that it is new, involves an ‘inventive step’, and is susceptible to industrial application. Patentable inventions can usually be a product (e.g. an object, chemical or device) or a process (i.e. a method of making something).

Patents grant their owner the right to prevent others from making, using or selling the invention without permission. The term of protection afforded by a patent is limited in time – in most jurisdictions, patent protection lasts for 20 years. Patents are territorial titles, meaning that the exclusive rights granted are only valid and enforceable in the jurisdiction(s) where the patent has been secured.


Relevant IP Helpdesk materials on patents

Frequently Asked Questions

General information about patents

Frequently Asked Questions

Check below our most frequently asked question for each regional IP Helpdesk.