For protecting inventions with a technical character.
What is a patent?
A patent is a legal document in which the scope of protection of a technical invention or idea is specified. A patent allows you to prohibit third parties, which are not entitled to do so, to use your invention or to make it commercially available. With a patent you will be able to acquire a solid market position, sell licenses or negotiate with manufacturers. A patent application is filed at a governmental filing authority, such as the Dutch patent office, and is subsequently examined on three requirements: the invention should be novel and inventive and susceptible of industrial application.
How do I obtain a patent?
A patent application is not merely a technical description of an invention. It is also a document that describes in detail the background of the invention, the problem for which the invention provides the solution and the scope of the protection. The latter requires a careful formulation. One word can mean the difference between a strong or a weak patent.
Vriesendorp & Gaade has patent attorneys with specialisations in all technical fields. You can already have a look at the page 'Our people' to see which patent attorney is the best match for your invention. Our patent attorneys are all trained to translate your technical invention into a strong patent. They handle the entire application process, from the first consultation up to the filing of the patent application and ultimately the grant of the patent. We do this not only for The Netherlands, but also internationally, through our worldwide network of agents.
We invite you to contact us for a free consultation at your location or at one of our branch offices.
Which information is required?
During a first consultation, we would like to know the following:
- Background of the invention: What is - according to your best knowledge - already known in the field of the invention?
- Problem definition: What was the incentive or problem that motivated you to search for a solution?
- The invention: What are the most important features of the invention, and most importantly; what is the difference of your invention with respect to what is known?
- Secrecy: Did you already share your invention with someone, and if so, under which conditions? Did you for example agree to a form of confidentiality?
- Territorial coverage: Where would you like to protect your invention? Where are your most important competitors located and/or where are your most important markets?
In addition, drawings, photos, movies and/or prototypes can usually be very enlightening. Do not worry about the patent figures. Vriesendorp & Gaade has its own drawing department. Our technical draughtsmen will ensure that your drawings meet the formal requirements upon filing.
The information above forms the basis for the first consultation. Preferably, the information is as complete as possible. However, the invention does not need to be fully detailed yet. It is important that you contact us in an early stage of the development to gather advise about the patentability of your invention. Usually, in the first conversations, we will already be able to assess the patentability of your invention. In some cases, we will perform an additional literature study to get more insight into the background and the characterising features of your invention. If the study would reveal that there are already comparable patent rights which could potentially block your activities, then you could still reconsider your development strategy.
During the first consultation, we will also introduce you to the most important aspects of patent law using clear, practical examples and try to determine a strategy that is suited to your specific situation. You will receive a lot of information, so it is probably best to take a notebook with you, so that you can recollect the information later.
Our patent attorneys are bound by professional secrecy and will treat the information that you entrust to use confidentially. Please note however that a first consultation with one of our patent attorneys does not yet mean that your rights have been registered. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you you keep your invention strictly confidential until the patent application has been filed. However tempting it may be: please prevent any publicity and do not disclose your invention to interested third parties.
The drafting and filing of a patent application
If you decide to entrust us with the drafting of the patent application, we will make a first draft. This draft can be amended until there is agreement about the contents, after which it is filed. From the moment of filing you have a filing date for your invention and you could - if desired - disclose your invention.
After the filing of the patent application, we will monitor the progress of the patent application and inform you about important due dates and decision points.
Do you still have questions? Please do not hesitate to contact us.
You can also download our brochure for additional information.