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Definition

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.

European IP Helpdesk

European IP Helpdesk - Guide to IP in Europe
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(1.79 MB - PDF)
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China IP Helpdesk

China IP SME Helpdesk - Guide to Patent Protection in China
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(2 MB - PDF)
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Latin America IP Helpdesk

Latin America IP SME Helpdesk - Patents in Latin America in a Nutshell
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(846.99 KB - PDF)
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Latin America IP SME Helpdesk - How to register your patent in Mexico
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(3.41 MB - PDF)
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South East Asia IP Helpdesk

South-East Asia IP SME Helpdesk - Patent protection in South East Asia
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(1.85 MB - PDF)
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Frequently Asked Questions

General information about patents

Patent applications in different countries

Frequently Asked Questions

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