Term of patent


Term of patent

The term of a patent is the maximum period during which it can be maintained into force. It is usually expressed in number of years either starting from the filing date of the patent application or from the date of grant of the patent. In most patent laws, renewal annuities or maintenance fees have to be regularly paid in order to keep the patent in force. Otherwise the patent lapses before its term.

The term of a patent or specific "claims" in a patent may also be curtailed by judgment of a court, as where a claim or patent is held "invalid" under the relevant law, and thus no longer enforceable.

Contents

International harmonization

Significant international harmonization of patent term across national laws was provided in the 1990s by the implementation of the WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs Agreement). Article 33 of the TRIPs Agreement provides that the

"The term of protection available [for patents] shall not end before the expiration of a period of twenty years counted from the filing date."[1]

Consequently, in most patent laws nowadays, the term of patent is 20 years from the filing date of the application. This however does not forbid the states party to the WTO from providing, in their national law, other type of patent-like rights with shorter terms. Utility models are an example of such rights. Their term is usually 6 or 10 years.

United States

In the United States, under current patent law, for patents filed on or after June 8, 1995, the term of the patent is 20 years from the earliest claimed filing date. For patents filed prior to June 8, 1995, the term of patent is either 20 years from the earliest claimed filing date or 17 years from the issue date, whichever is longer. Extensions may also be had for various administrative delays. (The exact date of termination may be zealously litigated, especially where daily profits from a patent amount to millions of dollars, e.g., pharmaceuticals.)

Other types of patents may have varying terms. For example, in the U.S., design patents (based on a decorative, non-functional design) typically have a 14-year term.

If the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) delays the issuance of a patent, it is possible to receive extensions. This may result in patents being issued for periods longer than 20 years. The reasons for extensions include:

  • Delayed response to an application request for patent.
  • Exceeding 3 years to consider a patent application.
  • Delays due to a secrecy order or appeal.

It is possible to receive time extensions equal to the amount of delay.

Europe

The European Patent Convention requires all jurisdictions to give a European patent a term of 20 years from the actual date of filing an application for a European patent or the actual date of filing an international application under the PCT designating the EPO.[2] The actual date of filing can be up to a year after the earliest priority date. The term of a granted European patent may be extended under national law if national law provides term extension to compensate for pre-marketing regulatory approval.[3] For EEA member states this is by means of a supplementary protection certificate.

Protection of patents issued in European Union countries were only enforced for three years (until 1995)[clarification needed] against pharmaceuticals manufactured in Spain (and cheaply available[citation needed]).[citation needed] Prior to its Treaty of Accession, Spain did not offer patent protection for pharmaceutical products.[citation needed]

References

Further reading

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • term of patent — The duration of the patent and of the rights of the patentee thereunder. Diamond Match Co. v Adirondack Match Co. (CC Vt) 65 F 803 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Term of patent in the United States — In the United States, under current patent law, the term of patent, provided that maintenance fees are paid on time, are:* For applications filed on or after June 8, 1995 [ [http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/2700… …   Wikipedia

  • Term — may refer to: *Term (computers) or terminal emulator, a program that emulates a video terminal *Term (language) or terminology, a word or compound word used in a specific context *Term (mathematics), a component of a mathematical expression… …   Wikipedia

  • Patent — A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to an inventor or his assignee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention.The procedure for granting patents, the requirements placed on the patentee and the… …   Wikipedia

  • Patent portfolio — A patent portfolio is a collection of patents owned by a single entity, such as an individual or corporation. The patents may be related or unrelated. Patent applications may also be regarded as included in a patent portfolio. The monetary… …   Wikipedia

  • Term (time) — Midterm redirects here. For the academic test, see Exams. For the type of U.S. election, see United States midterm election. A term is a period of duration, time or occurrence, in relation to an event. To differentiate an interval or duration,… …   Wikipedia

  • term — The period of time during which a contract is in force. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * ▪ I. term term 1 [tɜːm ǁ tɜːrm] noun 1. [countable] a word or expression that has a particular meaning, especially in a technical or scientific subject:… …   Financial and business terms

  • patent — [14] Etymologically, patent means simply ‘open’. Its ultimate source is patēns, the present participle of the Latin verb patēre ‘be open’ (a relative of English fathom and petal). It was used particularly in the term letters patent, which denoted …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • patent — [14] Etymologically, patent means simply ‘open’. Its ultimate source is patēns, the present participle of the Latin verb patēre ‘be open’ (a relative of English fathom and petal). It was used particularly in the term letters patent, which denoted …   Word origins

  • Patent troll — is a pejorative but questioned term used for a person or company who is a non practicing inventor, and buys and enforces patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered by the target or observers as unduly aggressive or… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.