PATENT – What You Need to Know as an Entrepreneur

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how do I go about Patent my product innovation

It is not common in this part of the world to patent innovation or product, just maybe so many entrepreneur think it’s a big deal or the process is a whole lot cumbersome, or they are just not aware about its importance or necessity. In this write-up by Ifeoma Ben, a Legal Practitioner with a flare for business legal advice, you will get to understand what Patent is and the requirements.

Patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention i.e. a product or process that provides a new way of doing something or provides a technical solution to a problem. It may either relate to a product (product patent) or to a process (process patent).

A patent protects new inventions and gives the owner the right to prevent other persons from using, importing or selling the invention without the owner’s permission.

In Nigeria, a patent is granted to the person who, whether or not he is the true inventor, is the first to file or validly claim a foreign priority for a patent application in respect of the invention.

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Patent gives the inventor an exclusive right to the use, manufacture and exploitation of the product or industrial process so invented for a period of 20 years.

THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PATENT?

For an invention to be patentable, it must satisfy three basic requirements. It must be: (1) new (novelty); (2) result from inventive activity (inventive step); and (3) capable of industrial application.

1.     Novelty: Newness or novelty of a product is fundamental to patentability. The invention must not be previously known by others or previously available in the public domain. The invention claimed is set side by side with what is already known about the particular area of the invention. If the invention is one that is already known, then it is not new. If the invention had been published then it would fail the novelty test. Publication by oral disclosure or publication by document and prior use will invalidate novelty and render the product unpatentable.

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2.     Inventive step: The invention must involve an inventive step i.e. the invention must differ significantly from what is already known. It must not be obvious to a person skilled in the art. What is considered here is whether or not the invention is predictable from the state of the art.

3.     Industrial application: An invention is capable of industrial application if it can be manufactured or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture.

Moreover, where an invention constitutes an improvement on an existing patented invention, it is patentable provided it satisfies the three basic requirements discussed above.

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