Sito Italiano
"A patent is property carried to the highest degree of abstraction, a right in rem to exclude, without a physical object or content." (Oliver Wendell Holmes)


The patent is a legal document, with maximum duration of 20 years, which confers the right to exclude others (competitors) from economic exploitation of products and/or services of an entrepreneur.

The right takes substance upon granting of the patent by a competent National Office.


To be valid a patent must mainly:

(A) be new;

(B) imply an inventive step.

The requirement of novelty for a patentable invention is that, on the day it is filed, it does not already belong to the state of the art, that is already been made available to the public by a written or oral description, by use, or any other means.

Even if the inventor himself discloses the invention, the novelty is lacking and the invention is no more patentable.

A prior abusive disclosure by a third party does not destroy the novelty, and the inventor can file the patent application within six months of the abusive prior disclosure. And a new use of an already known substance can be patented, that is, if a substance is used to perform a certain function, a new use is patentable. It is understood that only the new function or technical effect can be patented.

An invention possesses inventive step if, for a person skilled in the art, is not apparent from the state of the art. This definition is in fact a very hermetic guideline, and the judicial interpretation of the requirement must be relied on.

Another requirement of validity for a patent, quite easy to meet, is the industrial applicability, which exists when the invention can be manufactured and used in any kind of industry, including agriculture.

The invention must also be licit, that is its use must not be contrary to law and order, and to morality.

A requirement for the patent application is that the description of the invention must be sufficiently exhaustive. The invention must be described in a manner sufficiently clear and complete so that a person skilled in the art can carry it out without inventive effort.

Finally, we report that the patent application must contain only one invention.

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