Definition Document, strictly, in law, that which can serve as evidence or proof, and is written or printed, or has an inscription or any significance that can be “read”; thus a picture, authenticated photograph, seal or the like would furnish “documentary evidence.” More generally the word […]


Summary of Patent

A grant issued by a governmental authority to an inventor permitting, for a fixed number of years, an exclusive right to the invention. The grant includes the prerogative of preventing others from making, using, or selling the invention covered. Through various […]

Open Source Software

Many companies use open source software in their products and services. And some companies "regularly contribute software source code to open source projects under open source licenses or release internal software projects under open source licenses …. The terms of many open source […]

Intellectual Property

Summary of Intellectual Property Intellectual Property is, according withWilliam J. Miller, a general term covering industrial property such as patents, trademarks, and trade names, as well as literary and artistic property, including copyrights. Consideration of the meaning of the word […]


Research Disclosure in E.U. Patent System Defensive-type publications which are published, often anonymously, to give companies and inventors "freedom of use" rather than legal protection. Once research disclosures are published the invention described cannot be patented. Academic […]


Defensive Publication in E.U. Patent System A publication and disclosure to the public of a pending patent application. Publication in E.U. Patent System Documents, including patents of most countries that are printed (published) in and are actually or presumptively available to the public. […]


Preliminary Examination in E.U. Patent System The initial study of an application by an official in the patent office to check that the specification is properly arranged and for preparing search reports. Examination in Chief in Canadian Procedural Law Examination in Chief and related […]

Legal Deposit

Rationale The "wording of the 1537 "Ordonnance de Montpellier” (see below) shows that the idea of safeguarding books from being lost to posterity is already central. It is true that other aims have been suggested, more or less officially, for legal deposit, such as state control […]

Intellectual Property Competition

Intellectual Property Competition How do Patent and Copyright Protection restrict Competitors Both patent and copyright protection, though particularly the former, … Read more

World Intellectual Property Organization

Summary of World Intellectual Property Organization A specialized agency of the United Nations charged with fostering international agreements to protect rights to intellectual property, with the object of facilitating international technology transfer. WIPO serves as the nucleus for new […]


Introduction This part of the Encyclopedia of Law provides an overview of the basic attributes of patents, along with the patentability requirements, practice in the USPTO, primarily the steps involved in obtaining a patent, some post-issuance considerations such as the patent term, and the […]


Grant in E.U. Patent System A temporary right given by a patent office for a specified period, to prevent anyone else from using the technology defined in the claims of a patent. Grant Land grant For additional information related to the definition of Land grant in connection to Grant, please […]


Introduction to LicenseLicense, a permit granting permission to engage in an activity that would otherwise be illegal. The main purpose of a license is to protect the public interest. A license issued by a government agency is required in order to pursue certain occupations, run certain bus…

Paris Convention

Known formally as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, an international agreement formulated to protect rights to industrial property including inventions, trademarks, service marks, trade names, and appellations of origin. The substantive provisions of the convention […]


Kinds in E.U. Patent SystemThe letter, often with a further number, indicating the level of publication of a patent. For example DE-A1 is the German Offenlegungsschrift (application laid open for public inspection) while a DE-C1 is the German Patentschrift (first publication of the granted patent).

Patent Co-operation Treaty

Patent Co-operation Treaty (P.C.T.) in E.U. Patent SystemThe P.C.T. was signed in Washington D.C. on June 19 1970 and entered into force January 24 1978. It was amended with effective dates of May 3 1984 and January 1 1985. There are currently 96 signatories to this treaty. Contracting states […]