What patent means
A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers
a new technical solution to a problem, according to World Intellectual Property Office. In short, a patent offers rights to inventor(s) for his invention.
Why patent is important
Patent is important to organizations and inventors. To come out with new products, organizations invest huge resources in research and development. Patents allow the organizations to protect their efforts in introducing the new product. The organization can prevent potential competitors from practicing their invention.
If the organization employ inventors, the organization own the patent rights. Meanwhile, inventors are acknowledged and have a right over royalty income. Hence, patent recognizes the inventor’s contribution.
USA emerged as a center of innovation after Thomas Edison patented the electric lamp. Former middle-income countries, such as South Korea and Singapore, recognized the importance of patents. Research organizations were setup with huge expenditure to create new products. Multinational companies use patents to defend and grow market share around the world. China is pursuing the same route.
Thomas Edison’s electric lamp patent (USPTO)
How to patent an idea
To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the patent office. A patent attorney is hired to prepare the technical information in a patent specification. The patent specification explains the invention and define the scope of the invention.
Before filing a patent, a patent search is recommended. Organizations would wish to prevent reinventing the same wheel. The search could also reveal deficiencies that can be addressed before filing the patent.
A patent needs to be filed with a patent office and a patent examiner would be assigned to examine the contents of the patent application. The patent application would be granted if the examiner is satisfied that patent criteria are fulfilled. On the other hand, the patent application is rejected if the examiner finds that the patent criteria is not fulfilled. A smart patent attorney is essential to respond to the rejection.
How patent claims work
Patent specification has a section called claims. Patent claims define the scope of invention. In a sentence, features of the invention are listed in claims. The novel feature of the invention must be defined in the claims. Patent examiners examine the claims to determine if patent criteria are fulfilled.
In the event of a patent dispute, patent claims are referred to determine if infringement occurs. An infringement occurs if the alleged device has the same features of the patent claim. Courts and lawyers would visit the scope of claims in such event. To have strong claims, the drafting of claims is important!
Benz & Co vehicle patent (DPMA)
Are patent rights global?
Patent is a national right and each country have some form of control over patent protection. Currently, there is a global framework to harmonize patent specification and procedures under World Intellectual Property Organization. A patent filed in Malaysia can be filed in other countries. The Malaysia patent application and filing date is recognized by other country via Paris Convention or PCT route.
Based on Paris Convention, a foreign patent can be filed based on the Malaysia patent and filing date. It is a reciprocal arrangement where Malaysia recognizes patents filed by foreign countries that are member of the Paris Convention.
PCT is an international patent filing procedure. Patents are filed consequently in countries that are member of PCT. Thereafter, a decision would need to be made on which countries to protect the patent.
How patent can be sold
Patent has value; it is a form of intangible asset. Patent can be transferred or sold from one party to another party. An official instrument is executed to determine the terms of the transfer. Usually, change of ownership needs to be lodged with the patent office to record the transfer.
A valuation can be performed to determine the fair value of the patent. A valuation could assess patent cost, market and income. Relevant patents can be bundled together in a single valuation exercise.
Why Appoint Us
Who should you hire to prepare your Malaysia patent applications which is technical in nature? In USA and Europe, a technical degree is a prerequisite to qualify as a patent attorney. Due care should be taken in selection as most of the patent agents in Malaysia does not have technical background.
Above all, we certainly have the technical capabilities to prepare and prosecute patent applications. Dennis has postgraduate research experience in physics. He is comfortable in handling new technologies.
The best inventions are created by people solving problems that we all experience – UK IPO