Assessment of an invention
with respect to patentability
For an invention to be patentable, it must be novel, based on an inventive step and susceptible of industrial application.
The invention is considered to be novel if it does not form part of the prior art. The prior art reflects everything that has been made available to the public in written or oral form. Usually we assess novelty by doing a prior art search, with a focus on published patent applications. Basically, only such prior art is considered novelty-destroying, which is clearly referable to a single source of the prior art by a person skilled in the art.
If you have already published your development, it belongs to the state of the art and cannot be patented. However, in some countries, including Austria, there is the possibility of filing a utility model with a grace period. Such a utility model may also be filed after publication of the subject-matter of the invention, provided this happens within the grace period, which is 6 months in Austria for example.
An invention is considered as involving an inventive step if, having regard to the state of the art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art. In order to assess inventive step in an objective and predictable manner, the so-called "problem-solution approach" is applied. In contrast to the novelty check, the use of multiple sources from the state of the art is allowed. Thus, for example, a development for the skilled person may prove to be obvious if he would get to the subject of the invention by a simple combination of two sources of the prior art.
An invention is considered to be industrially applicable if its subject-matter can be manufactured or used in any commercial field.
Excluded from patent protection are:
inventions that violate public order or morality
surgical, therapeutic or diagnostic procedures as such on the human or animal body
Our services include an assessment of your invention with respect to the above mentioned criteria, usually preceded by a search for the state of the art. In principle, such an assessment can also be carried out on the basis of prior art provided by you.