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Common question is to determine if an idea can be patented, or how can patents help in bringing ideas to reality. While abstract ideas cannot be patented, implementation and execution of an idea can be patented by filing patents for corresponding products, processes, and a combination thereof.
Patent laws across various countries including USA, India, UK, EU, Australia and Asia Pacific require the patent applications to be filed before public disclosure, otherwise the subject matter of the invention becomes public knowledge.
Before discussing innovative ideas and concepts at conferences, seminars or pitching for funding, provisional patent can be filed for securing priority date. Thereafter, complete patent can be filed in local patent office along with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) via PCT (patent cooperation treaty) for international patent filings.
WIPO is not a granting authority but provides a streamlined process for international patents.
Patent eligibility of an invention is determined by 3 factors, as specified by patent office procedures for analysing patentability by conducting patent prior art search – Novelty, Inventive Step (non-obviousness) and utility (industrial application)
Patent prior art searches are conducted to determine patentability of an invention by formulating relevant patent key strings using international patent classifications, which are used along with logic operators to perform patent searches by patent analysts, patent searchers, patent attorneys, patent lawyers and patent law firms.
Profitable patent strategy includes filing provisional patents, followed by non-provisional (complete) patent applications, and subsequently followed by international patent filings (under Paris convention or patent cooperation treaty PCT by WIPO).