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Standards and Patents: Patents

An introduction to standards and patents, and key online tools to find them.

Patent Information

A patent confers upon its holder, for a limited period, the right to exclude others from exploiting (making, using, selling, importing) the patented invention, except with the consent of the owner of the patent. A patent is a form of 'industrial property', which can be assigned, transferred, licensed or used by the owner.  Patents are territorial; in effect e.g. a patent granted in Ireland is only valid in Ireland.

Novel: To be patentable an invention is considered new if it does not form part of the state of the art. The state of the art comprises everything made available to the public in any way, anywhere in the world, before the date of filing of the patent application. 

Inventive step: An invention is considered as involving an inventive step if it is not obvious to a person skilled in that area of technology, having regard to the state of the art. 

Industrial applicable: The invention must be capable of being made or used in some kind of industry, including agriculture.

Good For:

Finding out if your invention is truly novel

Preparation of your own application

Market information

Competitor and technology tracking

Text Searching: Identify keywords, use alternate terminology, Boolean Operators, Wildcards, Phrase Searching e.g. "lithium battery" (all these can link to other guides/webpages).

Classification Searching: Searching by assigned classification numbers and subclass numbers.

Combinatory Searching: Using a combination of text (keywords) and classification numbers.

Discipline Specific Searching: Chemical structures, substances etc

Useful Patent Books