Intellectual property is all around us! Often we are not aware of this. Look at logos, trade names, books, films, sculptures and less visibly, patents! They are almost all protected by intellectual property rights such as copyright, trademark or trade name law. These and other rights are part of the everyday practice of protecting intellectual property.
Patent law is an intellectual property right that gives the owner a monopoly on his invention for a certain period of time. With a patent right, the inventor can earn back the financial efforts he has made by exploiting his invention. He can also grant a license to his invention to a third party. In this way patents contribute to the development of technology as explained in this guide for inventors.
Without patent protection, few would be willing to invest a lot in the development of new technology, which often costs a lot of time and money. Patents and patent law are therefore also drivers of technological innovation.
If a patent on an invention has not yet been granted but has been applied for, the patent application is ‘pending’, ie the patent has not yet been granted but is being processed by a patent granting authority. The application procedure is still ongoing and the content of the patent application is also still secret. There are agencies that provide help for new inventors which you may consult if you don’t understand something.
You often see this listing on products. With this, the manufacturer indicates that he has applied for a patent. If a manufacturer states ‘patent pending’ on a product without a patent application having actually been filed, the manufacturer is punishable.