Nothing in this guide nor any assistance given by the Library and Learning Commons on patent searching is to be taken as legal advice.
We can’t tell you that your invention can, should, or would be patentable.
We can help you do initial due diligence research.
If you plan to apply for a patent and need assistance with the application process, you need to seek the help of a patent professional who specializes in patent applications.
For the United States of America – applications must be by or in the name of the actual inventor. The person or entity that owns the rights to the patent is the Assignee. For example, a corporate entity cannot be an inventor. Coca Cola did not invent anything, specific employees invented things. Coca Cola can own patents and be the Assignee.
Rest of the world – the person or entity that owns the rights to the patent, which includes corporations.
Utility patents are what most people think of when they think of what a patent is -
Utility patents are provided for a new, nonobvious and useful:
Article of manufacture
Composition of matter
Improvement of any of the above
In addition to utility patents patent protection is available for:
(1) ornamental design of an article of manufacture or (known as Design Patents)
Design patents cover the look and feel of a product – think of Apple’s rounded corners patents.
(2) asexually reproduced plant varieties by design and plant patents (known as Plant Patents)
Plant patents cover grafting and other horticulture techniques that produce plants that cannot be replicated via natural plant reproduction.
Laws of nature
Literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works (these can be Copyright protected).
Inventions which are:
Not useful (such as perpetual motion machines);
Or offensive to public morality
Most patent organizations require a working model prototype of the patentable invention/item to be created prior to granting a patent, therefore ideas cannot be patented, no matter how great they might be.
Patent protection terms are not universal. Each country or regional agreement for patents confers its own rules, regulations, and benefits including patent terms when granting patents.
USPTO – Utility patents are good from the date of filing through 20 years no matter how long it took to be granted
Design patents are good from the date of filing through 14 years
GCC Patents – 16 years from the date granted*
The GCC PO patent protection term is inferred from information available in the Patent Gazette. I was not able to find specific terms spelled out on the website.
Preliminary Patent Searching:
ZU Library and Learning Commons subject specialist Kate Holvoet. See my profile information above.
Abu Dhabi Government Assistance: