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What requirements must my invention meet to be protected with a patent?

Your invention should meet three requirements:

  • Novelty: Your invention must be new. This means it must not be made publicly known anywhere in the world before the patent application is filed, not even by yourself.
  • Inventive step: Your invention must not be obvious to a skilled person in the same field.
  • Industrial applicability: Your invention must consist of a technically feasible product or process.

In some countries you cannot obtain a patent unless all three requirements are met. In other countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands, the granting of a patent is a purely administrative procedure. This means that in these two countries you can get a patent granted even for inventions that are not new or inventive.