An invention can be considered for patent filing if it satisfies certain prerequisites, these are:
- It should be an invention in the field of science or technology.
- Under no condition should it be in the public domain, either in absolute or related identical (similar) form.
- It should be non-obvious, to a person possessed of average skill in the art.
- The idea, when expressed, has to result in a tangible product. Intangibles and abstract ideas do not qualify for being considered as patents.
- The predictability of the expressed idea should lead to industrial application for mass production and commercial gain.
A patent once acquired gives the right to the patentee to produce, reproduce, distribute, use, sell and import, and to generally derive commercial gains out of the process. This grants a competitive advantage to the patentee over competitors and gives him an edge in the market.
It prevents any other party from commercially exploiting the inventor's innovation.
Once the patent has been acquired, the patentee can grant licenses to any entity, exclusively or non-exclusively, to get involved in activities that would give monetary benefits against the usage of the patented invention. This is generally achieved by accruing monetary benefits in the form of royalty. The minimum term of protection for a patent is 20 years.