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Blog | Patent jargon I simply cannot avoid | EP&C patent attorneys


How do you stay happy in a good marriage? Magazines are full of tips on this, but ultimately it is something very personal, of course. Each individual is unique and has different needs. So what is a patent on a good marriage all about?

It is not always possible to avoid jargon completely. There are some words, for instance, which I probably use in every meeting that the people I am talking to might not be familiar with.

This is my patent jargon top 3, accompanied by an explanation for newcomers. Then, at least, you will be prepared!

1. 'Conclusie' and claim

There is always some confusion about these words.

The section entitled 'claims', or 'conclusies' in Dutch, is the most important part of any patent application. Contrary to what the Dutch word might suggest, it does not contain a conclusion or final opinion. It contains a very concise description of your invention in the form of a number of claims.

To avoid confusion the word 'claims' is sometimes also used in Dutch. However, this is often misinterpreted as a claim for damages.

So in such a situation we therefore replace one jargon word with another, which does not make things any easier for newcomers!

2. Priority year

The date on which you file a patent application is the first day of the priority year. The priority year is the year that follows that date.

What is the advantage of a priority year? You can apply for your patent in various countries for a period of 12 months from the date of your first patent application.

Is that an advantage?

It certainly is! If there were no such thing as a priority year, you would need to file your patent applications in all the countries you want to do so at the same time. Just suppose what would happen if the priority was not recognised and you applied for a patent in the Netherlands on 23 May 2017. If you were then to do so in France a day later, your invention would no longer be 'novel' in France, which is one of the requirements for obtaining a patent.

The priority year therefore gives you a year in which to decide whether or not you want to establish your patent rights in other countries as well. In this year you will receive a novelty report containing details of the investigation into the likelihood of you getting a patent. Based on this information you can decide whether you want to withdraw your patent application or go ahead with it on one or several countries.

You could, as it were, see a priority year as an extra year to think about whether or not you want to go ahead with your patent application in other countries.

3. PCT

PCT stands for Patent Cooperation Treaty This is a treaty to which around 150 countries are party. With a PCT application you have 30 months, from the moment of the first filing, to determine your definitive choice of countries.

You could use this period, for instance, to:

  • Look for investors
  • Investigate the patentability
  • Identify the commercial opportunities

The PCT application is extremely popular. The majority of our customers take this option once I have explained to them what it entails. It has advantages that are useful in business. More information can be found in this brochure.

I hope I have managed to enlighten you a bit. If I, or one of my colleagues, is using jargon, please do not be afraid to point this out to us and ask us for an explanation.

Topics: PATENT, TOP 3