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TECHNICAL FIELDS

Brevets

DEBAY IP firm covers a wide variety of technical fields, thanks to the adaptability and its multidisciplinary experts.

We recruit engineers and scientists here based on their scientific knowledge and skills, but also by requiring adaptation capacity and multidisciplinarity. We demand and maintain in our engineers will acquire technical knowledge in various fields, in order to preserve their critical thinking and develop their scientific insight.

Our engineers and experts are thus highly specialized but can advise clients in areas that are not always as limited as are the specialized studies. Indeed, the objective vision provided by a critical and sharp with a fresh eye on innovation generally allows to define more precisely and largely an invention. Thus, the patent application resulting from this critical and objective analysis is more likely to be clear and robust, especially due to the fact that it can be examined by judges who are primarily lawyers. In addition, highly specialized inventors benefit from this new eye judiciously to further define their invention, while possibly allowing not only limited to the goals or areas for which it was originally designed.

Our firm therefore covers most technical areas, including 

      • Agri-business
      • Aeronautics
      • Microwave applications
      • Automotive
      • Biotechnologies
      • Chemistry
      • Medical devices
      • Prosthetics and orthotics
      • Electrical and electronics devices
      • Smart cards
      • Computer sciences and software
      • Télécommunications
      • Television & Multimedia
      • Water treatment
      • Soil treatment
      • Optics and Opto-electronics
        etc.

PATENTS

A patent is a legal title giving its proprietor the right to prevent a third party from using or manufacturing an invention for commercial purposes without prior authorisation.

The provisions of law in each country or region, such as Articles 52 and 53 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) define what is and is not patentable.

European patents are granted for inventions that are:

Novel, Involve an inventive step, and can be given industrial application.
Inventions can belong to any technological field.

An invention is defined as a technical solution to a technical problem.

A patent therefore relates to this solution and especially to the technical characteristics which allow the problem to be solved, provided that these characteristics were not known in the prior art (publications in the field) and do not follow obviously from the prior art.

EXCLUSIONS FROM PATENTABILITY

It is additionally to be noted that:

– discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
– aesthetic creations; schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business;
– computer programmes, and
– presentation of information,

are not considered to be inventions if the patent application solely concerns one of these elements considered as such.

As a result, a programme run on electronic equipment to perform a function producing a technical result will be considered to be an invention and may be patentable.

Inventions which come under one of the following categories are also excluded from patentability:

– inventions whose commercial use would be contrary to public order or morality;
– plant varieties or animal races and essentially biological methods for obtaining plants or animals (microbiological methods and the products obtained with these methods are not excluded);
– methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnosis methods applied to the human or animal body (the products, substances and compositions for implementing one of these methods, for example medicinal products or surgical instruments, are not excluded).

In return for the protection imparted by the patent, the proprietor must disclose the invention in sufficiently clear manner for the person skilled in the art. This information is published 18 months after the filing of the patent application so that everyone may benefit by it. The publication of the invention is made in exchange for patent protection.

All patent applications must contain a request for grant of a patent, a description of the invention, one or more claims, the drawings to which the description or the claims refer, and an abstract.

The time of grant procedure for a patent starting from the filing of the application is variable depending on the route chosen: for a French patent, the processing time is about two years, and for a European patent the processing time is of the order of three to five years.

In the different countries, the national patent offices either have a registration system or an examination system:

Registration system

– without search: CH/LI, CY, ES, IT, LT, LV, LU, MC, PT, SI
– with search: BE, FR, NL (search conducted by the EPO); GR, IE

Substantive examination system

– automatic: AT, BG, DK, EE, ES, FI, IS, PL, SE, USA,
– on request: CZ, DE, GB, HU, RO, SK, TR, JP, CN, KR, CA
AT Austria, BG Bulgaria, BE Belgium, CH Switzerland, CZ Czech Republic
CY Cyprus, DE Germany, DK Denmark, EE Estonia, ES Spain, FI Finland
FR France, GR Greek Republic, HR Croatia, HU Hungary, IS Iceland,
IE Ireland, IT Italy, LI Liechtenstein, LV Latvia, LT Lithuania, LU Luxembourg
MC Monaco, MK Ex-Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, MT Malta,
NL The Netherlands, NO Norway, PL Poland, PT Portugal, RO Romania,
SK Slovakia, SI Slovenia, SE Sweden, TR Turkey, UK United Kingdom, JP Japan, CA Canada, CN China, KR Korea

ProcEdure

The procedure entails four main steps:

– examination of formalities on filing and issue of the search report

Throughout this phase, the Office checks that the application conforms to all requirements regarding form and draws up a search report indicating all documents that are relevant for the application. This report is sent to the applicant at the same time as an opinion on whether the application and the invention that is the subject thereof appear to meet the requirements for patentability.

– substantive examination carried out by some Offices

During this phase, the Office seeks to determine whether the invention meets the requirements for patentability and may proceed with granting a patent. If not, the application will be refused; it may also be withdrawn.

The patent, once granted, may give rise to subsequent proceedings:

Opposition proceedings

These may be held if opposition is filed within nine months following after the publication of the grant of a European patent. Oppositions may be made on the following grounds for example: the invention is not patentable under the EPC, the invention is not disclosed in sufficiently clear and detailed manner for it to be carried out by the person skilled in the art, or the subject of the European patent extends beyond the content of the application such as filed.

Proceedings for revocation (cancellation of a patent) or limitation

These can be brought by the patent holder.

HOW TO FILL A PATENT APPLICATION

By following one of the following three routes, or a combination of the three depending on the industrial property strategy to be defined:

– European ;
– International (PCT) ;
– National ;

Each of these possibilities has its advantages and disadvantages, the best solution in a given case will depend on the invention and the Industrial Property strategy that your patent advisor can help you to determine.

Via the European route, the only contact organisation is the European Patent Office and the entire procedure is governed exclusively by the EPC. European patents can be granted for the 35 Member States of the European Patent Convention (EPC) (situation as at January 2009) and at the applicant’s request they can be extended to Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia.

Via the PCT route, an international application validated in at least one country during the entry into the national phase becomes a national patent application, and an international application validated in Europe becomes a Euro-PCT. The initial phase (international phase) is held before the WIPO organisation in accordance with the provisions of the PCT, whereas the regional phase or the regional phases are respectively governed by the EPC or national laws.

If you only wish for protection in one or two European countries or countries outside the PCT or do not wish to conduct PCT filing, it may be advantageous after filing a first application in the applicant’s home country to file for national applications under the priority of this first application directly with the national offices of the countries in which you wish to obtain protection.

To request an estimate and submit an invention to us, please complete the forms of the technical file. Any request for an opinion on a technical file will be invoiced.