Support in the new GDPR General Data Protection Regulation

On May 25th, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into force in the European Union. This regulation may be consulted on the official European Union website at https://ec.europa.eu or by clicking the following link.

Our company Gastão Cunha Ferreira is a Lisbon based organization, recognized by providing support in all matters related to Intellectual Property to our clients and partners in different jurisdictions.

We have more than 80 years of professional experience in counseling on these matters, both in Portugal and in the territory of the European Union.

We will be happy to support your activity in turning your organization compliant with the new GDPR Regulation. Contact us through the email [email protected] or by telephone at 00 351 21 882 3990 for more information.

I had an idea... Now what?

Patents and Utility Models

Patent

It is the Industrial Property right that protects inventions that are new, have an inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application. In practical terms, it grants its owner, in a certain jurisdiction and for limited period of time, the right to prevent third parties, without the owners consent, of producing, using, selling or importing the product protected by the patent or the product obtained directly by the patented process. On the other hand, the inventor is obligated the reveal in detail all the technical content of the invention protected by the patent.

What we offer

  • We suggest the best and most effective means of protection for your invention.
  • We perform prior art searches on the product of process to be protected.
  • We draft the application based on the document of the invention and on the information supplied by our customers.
  • We handle the filing of all documentation.
  • We monitor the development of the entire process.
What to protect by patent? Cares to have Competitive advantages of owning a patent Patent duration How to internationalize?

Equipaments

Systems

Apparatus

Compositions

Processes

Methods

Do not disclose the invention

Analyse its novelty

Analyse its inventive step

Analyse its industrial application

Adds value to the innovation

Allows for exclusive use of the invention

Prevents imitations

May allow for a legal monopoly

Base for the creation of a business

Atracts investors

Allows for the Transfer of Technology

20 years if renewed yearly

European Patent

or

PCT Application

or

National filing in the target jurisdiction

Patentability requirements

In accordance with Art. 55 of the IPC (Industrial Property Code), patents are granted in relation to inventions that are new, contain an inventive step and industrial application. Excluded from patentability are inventions included in Art. 52 and Art. 53. Some of these limitations refer to human cloning processes, to the human body, to vegetable varietys or animal races and to the biological processes of obtaining them, the methods for treating or diagnosing applied to the human or animal body, discoveries, scientific theories, materials or substances founded in nature, aesthetic creations, information presentations, methods of game or business, as well as software and mathematical methods as such. These last limitations, if found in solutions that may be implemented by a computer, may be protected if the solutions comply with patentability requisites.

Novelty - the invention matter must be new, which means that it may not have been made available to the public by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filing of the patent  application.

Inventive Step  the object of the invention may not be obvious to a person skilled in the art, which means, it may not be the result of a mere arrangement of elements previously know without having a new and unexpected technical effect, or the result of a simple substitution of means or materials previously known.

The technical effect of the object of the invention may be considered a technical solution to a technical problem. For example, the technical effect may be considered the increase in the yield of a motor that results from the introduction of innovative components.

Industrial Application  the object of the invention can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture.

National filing for protection of inventions

National Application - Right conferred by the Portuguese PTO (INPI Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial) whose protection is limited to Portuguese territory.

National Utility Model Application Industrial Property right that protects all new inventions and whose inventive step requirement may be replaced by a practical or technical advantage. For this reason, the criteria for the grant of a Utility Model Application are less strict than a Patent Application.

Provisional Patent Application (PPA)Portuguese law allows for the filing of a patent by resorting to the filing of a Provisional Application that, at a date no later than 1 year, should be converted to a definitive application. This application was created to allow for the establishement of the priority date and to allow a rapid protection of inventions that are still under development and do not comply with all formal requirements that a regular application requires.

Schedule for a patent application

In order to exemplify the several steps involved in the filing of a National Patent Application before the Portuguese PTO, below you may find a flow chart, with the stages included in the application:

Routes for International protection of inventions

European Patent Right conferred by the EPO (European Patent Office) that can be validated in 44 countries that are currently signatories of the European Patent Convention, or that have established extension/validation agreements with the EPO. Allows, by filing a single application before the EPO, to select upon its grant the jurisdictions in which you would like to protect your invention, allowing for a significant reduction in overall cost of protection.

PCT Patent Application (Patent Cooperation Treaty)Application also designation as "International Application", managed by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) that facilitates the filing of applications for the protection of inventions (patents or utility models) in 152 jurisdictions. After the completion of a first international phase, the application continues through a national phase, in which each designated country decided on whether to grant the application according to its own national law.

The filing of a PCT Application allows for the decision that the owner would have to take at 12 months after filing concerning the jurisdictions in which to protect the invention may be postponed to 30/31 months. With this filing a Search Report is also performed and obtained from the EPO. After the deadline of 30/31 months, the application enters the national phase, which means that the applicant must choose where to protect his invention.

Which route to choose?

One of the first things to establish in a patent application is to chose the route of protection, according to the jurisdiction in which you want to secure your invention, to the resources available and the timeframes involved. Below you will find the most common patenting strategies:   

  • The protection is limited to one or two countries. In this case, for financial gain, the most common option is to follow the national application route. The applicant must file all national applications within 12 months of the original filing.
  • The protection covers several jurisdictions signatories of the European Patent Convention. In this case, to save time and resources, the most common route is to file a European Patent Application. In case the priority of a National Application is requested, the European Application must be filed within 12 months from the original filing date.
    Tipically, the protection obtained through a European Patent is comprised by the following stages:
    National application (priority) → European Patent Application  → Grant → Validation in target jurisdictions
  • The protection covers several jurisdictions throughout the world. In this case, the most common route is the PCT Application. As in the European Patent Application, in case a priority is requested, the deadline to file the PCT Application is of 12 months after the filing date of the original application. The PCT Application has the advantage of the possibility of postponing the decision that would have to be made at 12 months to 30/31 months, in regards to the choice of jurisdictions in which you would like to protect your invention. That means that you only have to select the target jurisdictions at 30/31 months after filing of the original application.
    Tipically, a PCT Application is comprised of the following stages:
    National Application (priority) → PCT Application → National/regional phase.
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