Patent Protection

Patent Protection (Inventions)

Protección de Patentes (Invenciones, Inventos)


Patent an invention

A patent is a legal title for inventions, that grants a monopoly right of exploitation to the patent holder in a particular country, for a set period of time; generally limited to 20 years from its filing date, to prevent others from exploiting; making, using, offering, selling or importing the invention for commercial purposes without the owners’ authorization and consent. In exchange, the holder must publicly disclose the invention. A patent is the most effective protection against infringement and unfair competition since a successful patented invention will inevitably attract other competitors.

A patentable invention must always be a technical solution to a given technical problem where the new and advantageous effects of the invention are to be sufficiently described in a way that a skilled person in the field is able to replicate the invention. Patentable inventions can consist of processes and methods, machines and apparatus, articles of manufacture, compositions of matter products, or any improvement of these, which must be new (novelty), involve an inventive step (non-obviousness) and be industrially applicable (useful).

Invention patents are territorial and they must be protected on a country-by-country basis. They are always granted either by national patent Offices like the Spanish Patent Office OEPM, the USPTO, the JPO and so, or by regional Offices, such as the European EPO, the Eurasian EAPO, the Middle East GCC or the African OAPI and ARIPO. Depending on the nature of your invention, the scope and budget, you will need to choose where in the world would you or your company like to protect your patent as the first application (priority) and apply for further extensions abroad, in view of the countries where you intend to exploit, manufacture or market your invention.

These are the different routes to patent protection.

  1. Spanish patent application at OEPM to the whole territory of Spain.
  2. International patent application at WIPO, under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) to 150 countries and regional Offices worldwide.
  3. European patent application at EPO, under the European Patent Convention (EPC) to 38 countries in Europe and extension states.
  4. Other regional patent Offices: Eurasian EAPO, African OAPI and ARIPO, and Arab GCC.
  5. Foreign national patent applications to individual national patent Offices.


How Abecsa Can Help You

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Main points of Patent Protection

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Common Mistakes and Suggestions

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Contact us

Via our contact form if you need advice on any patent issues such as:

  • Protecting your patent in Spain, with the European Patent Office or in multiple countries.
  • Validating your granted European Patent in Spain.
  • Looking for prior art searching or a freedom-to-operate opinion and report.
  • Patent watching services.
  • Defending your challenged Spanish, European patent, from oppositions or appeals.
  • Revising and/or amending your patent draft by our engineer.
  • Opposing a Spanish patent or utility model or a European patent filed by others.
  • Taking legal action against another person or company who is selling or commercializing your invention in Spain or in Europe without your consent.
  • Translating your patent specification into Spanish, English or to a required local language.
  • Renewing your patent annually.
  • Licensing the use of the invention or selling your patent ensuring the assignment to other person or company.
  • Protecting your know-how and trade secrets.



If this will be the first filing of your invention, it is important that you do not disclose the technical characteristics of your invention to others before you apply for patent protection, as a previous disclosure may mean that you cannot patent it, or your patent may be declared invalid by anyone who proves this preceding disclosure (on the basis of lack of novelty or inventive step). However, you can safely discuss it with us, because as registered patent attorneys and lawyers, any information you disclose to us is legally privileged and confidential, warranting the professional secret and using it strictly for the purpose or needed service we are instructed to handle in your name.