Patent (Ro: brevet, Fr: brevet n.m., Czech: patent, Alb.: patenta) (See also: copyright, trademark, authorship, intellectual property) =  an intellectual property right granted for an invention by the government to the inventor, giving the inventor, for a limited period of time, the right to stop others from making, using or selling that invention without his permission. Patents are generally intended to cover products that possess or contain new functional or technical aspects.

To be patentable an invention must:

  • Be new: the invention must never have been public in any way, anywhere in the world, before the date on which an application for a patent is filled;
  • Involve an inventive step: an invention involves an inventive step if, when compared with what is already known, it would not be obvious to someone with a good knowledge and experience of the subject;
  • Be capable of industrial application: an invention must be capable of being made or used in some kind of industry.


Useful links

Legislation - Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property [English] - Patent Cooperation Treaty [English] - Patent Law Treaty [English] - Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification [English] - The European Patent Convention [English] - TRIPS [English]

Organisations - World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) - European Patent Office (EPO)

Case law [list of cases in front of the EPO]


Microsoft Corporation v AT&T CORP -

Boston Scientific Scimed Inc. v Medtronic Vascular Inc. -

Association for Molecular Pathology v MYRIAD GENETICS Inc. -

Diamond v Ananda M. Chakrabarty -


Monsanto Technology LLC v Cefetra BV, Case C-428/08 -

Oliver Brüstle v Greenpeace, Case C-34/10 -

Online publications - Intellectual Property Office, 2015, The patent guide: A handbook for analyzing and interpreting patent data - Intellectual Property Office, 2015, Patent Harmonisation: US & UK Study on Grace Periods - Adelman, Rador, Thomas, 2010, Patent Law, Aspen Publishers Inc. - Landers, A. L., 2012, Understanding Patent Law, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. - Pressman, D., 2002, Patent it yourself, CONSOLIDATED PRINTERS, INC 


Adelman, M., Ghosh, S., Landers, A., Takenaka, T., 2011, Global issues in patent law, St Paul, West

Cornish, W. and D. Llewelyn., 2007, Intellectual property: patents, copyright, trademarks and allied rights, London: Sweet & Maxwell

Haedicke, M and H. Timmann., 2014, Patent law: a handbook on European and German patent law, C.H. Beck

Miller, A. and Davis, M., 2007, Intellectual property: patents, trademarks, and copyright: in a nutshell, St. Paul: Thomson

Scanlon, K and Tavares, H., 2004, Patent mediation: better solutions for business, International institute for conflict prevention & resolution

Takenaka, T., 2008, Patent law and theory: a handbook of contemporary research, Edward Elgar


By Šárka Šilhánková