The invention patent is an intellectual property right, by virtue of which the owner of the same acquires an exclusive, temporary right to exploit its own invention within a specific territory.
The invention patent can regard both a product and a method; the latter does not necessarily have to lead to a new product.
An invention provides a new solution to a technical problem.
The patent, therefore, in order to be valid, must meet the following requirements:
In order for an invention to be patented, it must be new, i.e. never before disclosed to the public – neither through oral or written description, nor via use or through other means. The predisclosure of the invention in any manner will jeopardize its validity.
The invention must not be evident at the state of the art for a man skilled in the art.
It must be possible to use the invention in an industrial field, intended in a wide sense (including, for example, agriculture).
It is therefore advisable to protect one’s inventions in order to prevent others from producing and selling a new product or from using a new method. Patents can be sold or granted under license for manufacturing or use.
It is clear that patents can have added value both for companies and private individuals.
A patent filed in Italy can be extended to other countries within 12 months from the filing date, claiming the priority of the Italian filing. In other words, after having filed in Italy, it is possible to disclose one’s finding in other countries, so as to verify if the same will be successful from a commercial standpoint.
If it is, it is possible to validly extend such finding before the abovementioned deadline.
The patent can be extended to single countries or to multiple countries with a single filing (European Patent or International Application PCT).
The utility model is a new embodiment of an already‐existing product, adapted to confer greater simplicity and ease of use to the product for the user.
Utility models can also be extended to other countries, in the same manner as the invention patent.
With regard to novelty, the same regulations as for the invention patent are also valid here.
The registration of a design protects the aesthetic appearance of a product or a part thereof.
In order to be valid, it must not only be novel, but also identifiable, i.e. easily distinguishable by the man skilled in the art with respect to similar objects of known type.
The design cannot regard technical‐functional characteristics, possibly protectable by means of invention patent or utility model.
Designs can be filed within a year from the first disclosure, which can occur in any manner.
It is possible to protect a plurality of designs with a single application, even if such designs are not correlated ‐ so long as they belong to the same product class.
The extension to other countries must take place within six months from the date of the