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Patent application

Definition : Patent application

A patent application is an official request made to an intellectual property office, such as the USPTO or the EPO, to obtain a patent.

The patent application must contain a complete and detailed description of the invention, as well as claims that define the limits of the protection sought. The application may also include drawings, diagrams or models to illustrate the invention.

Once filed, the patent application is examined by a patent examiner to check whether it meets the criteria for patentability, namely whether it is new, inventive and suitable for industrial application. If the application is successful, the patent is granted and the inventor can then benefit from exclusive rights for a limited period, usually 20 years from the application filing date.

Between the filing of the application and its grant, there must be no extension of the subject matter of the patent beyond the contents of the application, i.e. the scope of the patent must not be extended beyond what was disclosed in the original patent application. The applicant may only assert those claims which are directly and clearly disclosed in the application.

The first applicant for a patent will benefit from a right of priority.