What is a patent?

Innovation is the fuel for economic development. Most of the objects we use, from smartphones and computers to medicines, are innovations that may have been patented to secure them, make them profitable and further encourage innovation.

A patent (called a patent for invention) is a title issued by a national institution that protects creations related to technical and industrial innovation. It provides a 20-year monopoly on patented innovation (Article L611-2 of the French Intellectual Property Code), as long as annual payments are made.

From an economic point of view, this monopoly allows companies to make their research profitable and provides a powerful competitive advantage, allowing them to develop their solution with little or no competition. Also, the patent becomes an intangible asset of the company as it has an economic value. It can therefore be valued, sold, or used as a performance indicator.

From a legal point of view, a patent is an effective deterrent to potential competitors and counterfeiters: it allows to avoid certain legal proceedings and to defend oneself more effectively before the courts.