IPR types in simple terms. Let’s talk about patents 2022-12-14

What is a patent? The question may seem trivial. All of us have heard the term at least a few times in our lives, and could probably mention the name of some famous inventor whose story was the inspiration for a Hollywood movie, but what is the correct definition?

A patent (or more properly patent for invention) is a legal document under which the owner is granted an exclusive right to exploit the invention, in a specified territory and for a specified period, and which allows him to prevent others from producing, marketing or using the invention without permission.
Patents contain descriptions of innovative solutions (the inventions) to technical problems in specific areas of technology and act as contracts between inventors and the State.

Patents follow a standardized structure, specifically they are divided into:
  • Title;
  • Abstract: a short summary of the invention;
  • Claims: The legal part of the text in which the inventor describes the features he/she wants to protect;
  • Description: Includes further explanation of the purpose and possible benefits and developments of the invention;
  • Pictures or drawings can also be attached to better understand the parts and operation of what is described
Patents can be used for protective, strategic, or financial purposes, e.g., through licensing. For a limited period (usually twenty years) and within a given territory, they give the holder the right to exclude anyone else from making products or processes that fall under the legally acquired protection. Looking at data provided by the European Patent Office (EPO, ed.) for 2021, as many as 75 percent of patent applications were filed by large companies, while another 20 percent are covered by SMEs and individual inventors*.
In addition to classical objects, patents also protect utility models, plant varieties, software, product topographies and semiconductors, presentation of information and business methods.

There are many ways to use patents for strategy, product development and commercial purposes. The aim of IPR4SC project is to provide a wide spectrum of users with tools to approach the world of patents and patent analysis for business purposes. A goal as ambitious as necessary for the future competitiveness of European companies.

*source: https://www.epo.org/about-us/annual-reports-statistics/statistics/2021/statistics/applicants.html#tab3 



Tamara Besednjak Valič

Faculty Of Information Studies In Novo Mesto

e-mail: tamara.valic@fis.unm.si


Virág Szuák

Pannon Business Network Association

e-mail: virag.szuak@pbn.hu