WHAT ARE PATENTS AND WHO ISSUES THEM?

A patent is an intellectual property right awarded exclusively for an innovation in order to prevent others from manufacturing, selling, or utilizing it.

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

6/7/2022 0 min read

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WHAT ARE PATENTS AND WHO ISSUES THEM?

A patent is an intellectual property right awarded exclusively for an innovation in order to prevent others from manufacturing, selling, or utilizing it. Patents encompass a product or methodology that provides an innovative technical solution to a problem or a new way of doing something in general. Intellectual property rights enable holders to profit from their creations and provide them theoretical and legal ownership of intangible resources and how they are used.

SUBJECT MATTER COVERED BY PATENTS

Utility patents, design patents, and plant patents are the three types of patents that can be used to classify the subject matter.

1. Patents for new equipment, substances, and processes are given under utility patents, which are the most prevalent category of patent.

2. Design patents are granted to protect the unique appearance or design of produced products, such as surface decoration or the object's general design.

3. Patents on new and different plant varieties, including hybrids, are granted for the invention and asexual reproduction of new and distinct plant varieties (asexual reproduction means the plant is reproduced by means other than from seeds, such as by grafting or rooting of cuttings).

WHO ISSUES PATENT?

Patents unlike Copyright require registration to be legally recognized to the exclusion of other usage. Patents are issued by the government through the Registrar of Patents and Designs Registry A patent application is submitted with the Registrar, and the Registry will issue an official letter acknowledging the application. When the Patents and Design Act's section 3 requirements and documents for patent registration are submitted to the Registry, the Registrar will evaluate the patent application to see if it complies with the Act's requirements and if the conditions have been met, or if they have not been met. Any patent application is subject to the Registrar's approval or rejection.

PROCEDURE FOR PATENT REGISTRATION

Every Patent registration submitted at the Registry under section 3 of the Patent and Designs Act must be in the English language and follow the processes outlined in that section.

The registration application must be filed with necessary details to the office of the Registrar of the Patent and Designs Registry, which include:

  • The applicant's full name and address, as well as an address for service within Nigeria if the applicant's address is really outside Nigeria.

  • A claim or potentially claims, which is the protection sought by the patent applicant, and such claim(s) must be within the bounds of the invention description.

CONDITIONS FOR PATENTABILITY

The Patent and Design Act, Cap 344, LFN 2004 provides legal support for patentability in Nigeria. Again, not all subjects are eligible for patents; for example, design patents cover the appearance and arrangement of a product rather than its functionality or construction.

As a result, section 1(1) states that an invention is patentable if it is either new, results from inventive activity, and is capable of industrial application, or if it is an improvement upon a patented invention that is also new, results from inventive activity, and is capable of industrial application.

A new invention is defined as one that is not part of the state of the art, according to subsection 2. The highest level of general growth, method, or field reached at a given moment is referred to as a state of art.

DURATION

The Registrar grants a patent for a period of 20 years from the date of application. A renewal fee must also be paid, otherwise the registration will lapse. When a patent is granted for a process, the Patentee has the sole right for the duration of the patent to prevent the Act of putting on the process or even doing so in respect to a product obtained directly using the patented process.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

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