» What is a patent?

  • Purpose of the patent system

The purpose of the patent system is, to accelerate the development of technology though the protection, encouragement, promotion, and utilization of inventions, and thereby contribute to the development of industry.

The publication of inventions leads to the accumulation and utilization of technology and the advancement of industry.

Granting exclusive rights for the commercial usage of a patented invention promotes commercialization, encourages the development of inventions, and leads to the advancement of industry

  • Requirements for acquiring patent rights

A patent must have industrial applicability; it must be usable in industry.

The technology must have novelty; it must not be known to the public (prior art) before an application is submitted.

The technology must have an inventive step; it must not be easily derivable from prior art, even though it differs from prior art.

  • Effect and term of a patent right

The term of a patent right commences when the establishment of patent right is registered; it ends 20 years after the filing date of the patent application. The corresponding term for a utility model is 10 years.

The effect of a patent right is subject to the principle of territoriality; that is, it is valid only in the country where the right is obtained.

Last updated 17 MAY 2012

Patent System Administration Division