What is a patent?

A patent is the exclusive right that protects a new product, working method or technology. A patent allows the inventor to benefit from his invention, forbidding competitors to copy the invention.

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Patent applications

Patents are national rights. Each patent only provides protection in one single country. So basically protection must be requested wherever protection is desired. NLO will be pleased to arrange both national and international applications on your behalf, so there is no need for you to contact the patent authorities yourself.

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Preliminary novelty search

A patent will only be valid provided it is protecting a new invention. If, during a patent granting procedure, it turns out the invention already existed, the investment in the patent application will basically have been in vain.

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A patent procedure usually begins by submitting a Dutch, European or international (PCT) patent application. Within the first 12 months – the priority year – from submitting the first patent application, a new application may be submitted for another country or region on the basis of the first patent application.

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Validation of European patents

Once the European Patent Office has granted a European patent, the patent will need to be validated in all countries desired. The validation procedure consists of meeting the national procedural requirements that prevail in each country.

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