A patent is a legal instrument that enables the patent owner to exclude others from making, selling or using their invention. Patents may be granted to inventors or their assignees and once granted the patentee obtains the exclusive right, privilege and liberty of making, constructing and using the invention and selling it to others. This right to exclude others is exercised by suing infringers or granting licenses and the onus is on the patent owner to enforce the patent. Patents may be viewed as a contract between the inventor and the government.
In Canada and the United States as well as most other countries the term of protection is 20 years from the date of filing of the patent application. To ensure that the patent owner is accorded the 20 years of protection, the patent maintenance fees must be paid.
A Canadian patent only protects an invention in Canada. To acquire protection in other jurisdictions, separate patents must be obtained in each country of interest. Global patents do not exist, although the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) may simplify the filing procedure should the applicant be interested in obtaining patent protection in other jurisdictions.
An invention is any process, product, machine or composition of matter, articles of manufacture, or improvement thereof that is both new and useful. Patents can be obtained for any new and unobvious invention.
For an invention to be patentable it must meet the following criteria:
The invention must demonstrate inventive ingenuity, and not be obvious to someone skilled in that area
To be patentable, the invention must be novel. It must not have been available/ disclosed to the public or described in a single document with sufficient information to allow someone to make the invention. These inventions fall under a grace period, where both Canada and the United States provide a one (1) year window to file a patent application after disclosing the invention.
The invention itself must be useful for the purpose it was designed as specified in the disclosure and claims of the patent application.
The subject matter of the patent must be non-obvious or inventive. Generally an invention is said to be obvious where the invention would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the particular field of invention, in view of the literature available and the common general knowledge at the date the first application for the invention was filed.
As a copyright lawyer, we do not perceive intellectual property rights in isolation from other aspects of your business. For most businesses today, intellectual property rights are major assets that need to be taken into account when making any significant business decision.
Based on this philosophy, our approach with intellectual property issues is, first and foremost, to advise our clients as to the best overall strategy to maximize or protect their intellectual property rights.
Copyright is but one aspect of intellectual property. At Heydary Hamilton PC, we have expertise and experience in all facets of intellectual property law. Along with copyright, these areas include:
Your unique ideas are of great value to your business and to you as an individual. To learn more about protecting these assets, schedule a consultation with a Heydary Hamilton copyright PC lawyer.