Patents are the most tangible form of intellectual property rights. A patent gives you the right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling or importing your invention without your permission. We will guide you through the criteria to determine whether your invention is patentable.
We will also start the prior art search for criteria: novelty. We contract external Patent Counsels to prepare, file and prosecute the patent application before the Patent Offices. Therefore, before making these commitments, a positive outcome of the Impact check is leading before embarking on a patent application procedure.
Prior art is any evidence that your invention is already known. Prior art does not need to exist physically or be commercially available. It is enough that someone (or yourself), somewhere, sometime previously has described or shown or made something that contains a use of technology that is very similar to your invention.
We perform a search for prior art and also for competing art in different databases like the worldwide patent system (Espacenet), PubMed, Google and other applicable sources. It is important that you withhold from publications/presentation, so we can do the novelty check and search for any prior art.
During the patent proceedings the national Patent Offices will individually determine the scope of the claims to be granted for that specific country.
This is called examination and focuses on the three criteria for patentability:
#1 | Novelty
The novelty bar is the first hurdle to take, which means that the invention claimed in the patent application may NOT have been made public in any form (publication, presentation, poster, abstract, etc.) before the filing of the patent application.
#2 | Inventive Step
The claimed invention should contain an inventive step, meaning the invention should NOT be obvious to one skilled in the art. Pointers are unexpected, surprising effects, synergistic effects not attributable to individual components, etc.
#3 | Industrial Applicability
The last bar is industrial applicability, meaning the invention should be makeable as a product in the way it was claimed. We need to provide data and examples to show how the invention would look and work.
You are an inventor in case you have been instrumental in the inventive step(s). It is important to realize that inventor ship on a patent is different from authorship on a manuscript, and it brings along legal consequences if incorrect. We support you to identify the right inventors using the guidelines available.
Knowledge institutes such as universities and medical centers are the rightful owners of the patentable findings of their employees, according to the Dutch Patent Act (Rijksoctrooiwet). UU and UMC Utrecht have dedicated holding companies that maintain and commercialize the patent portfolios.
By University regulation, Utrecht Holdings and the research group share the patent costs (50/50). In case of commercial success, we organize the distribution of revenues to the research group and the inventors (billijke vergoeding).