How to protect your invention with a national patent
- Principle and conditions
- Filing a patent application
- Obtaining the official documents
- Obtaining the application forms and the power of attorney, if applicable
- Filling out the filing application form and the power of attorney, if applicable
- Writing the text for the filing application
- Preparing the method of payment
- Submitting the documents and paying the fees
- The granting of the patent
- The lifespan of the patent
Direction de l'Expansion Économique
9 rue du Gabian
MC 98000 MONACO
Intellectual Property Division :
(+377) 98 98 84 90
Fax : (+377) 92 05 75 20
Opening Hours : from 9h30 to 17h00 from monday to friday
Principle and conditions
A patent is an industrial property title which gives the holder the exclusive right to authorise or to deny, for a maximum of twenty years, all use, reproduction, distribution or sale of the protected invention. A patent is also an effective way of discouraging infringers.
A patent protects a technical invention which may be a product or a procedure which provides a new technical solution to a technical problem. These technical solutions are the product of complex processes which result from commitment, study and research and which allow technology to progress.
It is not possible for an idea to be protected by a patent. Nevertheless, the technical methods implemented to bring about technical solutions are in fact ideas.
A patent submitted in Monaco will be granted without guarantee from the Government, meaning, most importantly, that they will not research the patentability or prior art of the product or procedure.
In order for a patent to protect your invention, as defined by the legislation in force, the innovation must satisfy the patentability criteria.
The invention must be new.
An invention is new when it relates to an innovation which has not already been made available to the public. It is important to specify that if the inventor or any other third party discloses the invention before the patent application is filed, this will be damaging to the novelty of the invention. It is crucial to keep the invention absolutely secret until the application is filed.
It must be possible to use the invention in industry
As far as the law is concerned, the invention of new methods, the new application of methods which are known to gain a result or the invention of an industrial product may all be patented.
Some inventions may not be patented, notably:
- Scientific theories and mathematical methods
- Aesthetic and ornamental creations
- Schemes, rules and methods
- Computer programmes alone
- Pharmaceutical compositions or remedies of any kind
- Inventions which are contrary to public order or good conduct
These inventions may eventually be protected by other kinds of industrial property titles. For example, aesthetic creations can be protected through the registration of a design.
Filing a patent application
Keeping your invention secret
In order to maintain protection of your invention, it is important to keep it secret and thus to file the application before you disclose your invention.
Verifying the novelty of an invention
The novelty of an invention is one of the patentability conditions provided for by law.
Though the Intellectual Property Office does not verify the novelty of the invention, in order to grant a patent, it is strongly recommended to the potential application to verify the novelty of the invention in order to ensure that the inventor themself is not committing an act of infringement.
Analysing the results of this research and deciding to submit a patent application or not as a result of this research is the sole responsibility of the candidate. Bearing in mind the complexity of the analysis, the assistance of an industrial property specialist is recommended.
See the list of the main authorised intellectual property agents.
Obtaining the official documents
Monaco is a member of the Paris Convention. Consequently, it is possible to claim the priority (the date) of the initial filing which took place in another Member State. This right of priority is applicable on the condition that it is claimed within the 12 months following the date of initial filing.
In order to claim this priority from the Intellectual Property Office, it is important to give them the official copy of the initial filing and to indicate this expressly in the application form. If these documents are not in French, they must be accompanied by a translation. If you are not the author of the claimed priority, written authorisation from the applicant will be required in order to enable you to claim this priority.
Obtaining the application forms and the power of attorney, if applicable
In order to get the patent application form, the power of attorney and the explanatory documents you can either:
- Collect them from the Intellectual Property Office
Download them from the links below:
Brevet d'Invention - Demande de dépôt - Certificat d'Addition (n° 355-0032_01-2011)
Brevet d'Invention - Notice explicative (n° 355-0037_01-2011)
If you wish to use an attorney to work with the Intellectual Property Office on your behalf :
Filling out the filing application form and the power of attorney, if applicable
In order to submit a patent application, it is mandatory to fill in the application form and to attach the application text.
The application form must be:
- Dated on the day of filing
- Completed by hand in capital letters or typed
- Signed by the person submitting the application (the applicant or the attorney)
If the applicant wishes to engage the services of an attorney to manage their application to the Intellectual Property Office, the application must be accompanied by a power of attorney including:
- The date of the power
- The signature of the petitioner (applicant) with the handwritten words “bon pour pouvoir”
- The signature of the attorney with the handwritten words “bon pour acceptation de pouvoir”
Writing the text for the filing application
The text of the application contains a description of the invention, claims, an abstract and, if need be, one or more drawings.
- The description describes the invention and compares it with the state of the art.
- The claims determine the extent of the desired protection.
- The abstract is a summary of the technical aspects of the invention.
- Drawings are used, if need be, to assist the reader in understanding the description.
For more detailed information, please see the Brevet d'Invention - Notice explicative (n° 355-0037_01-2011)
Preparing the method of payment
The filing fee and the maintenance fees in force for the first year can be paid for:
- In cash
- By cheque, made payable to the Public Treasury
- By bank transfer, indicating a reference for the transfer: (re Relevé d'Identité Bancaire )
To find out the cost of filing a patent application, consult the following document: Brevets - Tarifs au 1er janvier 2018
Submitting the documents and paying the fees
All the documents must be submitted to the Intellectual Property Office. You may not submit the documents in the post or using transmission media.
The following documents must be provided:
- A copy of the application form
- Three copies (one original, two duplicates) of the application text (description, abstract, claims, drawings)
- A power of attorney, if need be
- Payment of the fees due
The Intellectual Property Office then provides a receipt of the filing which specifies the date, the official time of the filing and the file number which is assigned in order to manage the case.
The granting of the patent
If the patent application respects legislation which is in force, the application is then granted the title (patent) by the Minister of State. A decree from the Minister of State confirming the compliance of the application will be granted to the applicant and this will constitute the patent.
The granting of the title will be made public, as it will be published in the quarterly Appendix of the Journal de Monaco.
The lifespan of the patent
Term of protection
The maximum term of protection is twenty years, counting from the date of filing with the Intellectual Property Office. Each year, it is the responsibility of the holder to pay the fee owed for the maintenance of the protection (the Intellectual Property Office does not issue any notice of the due date for these annuities).
Registration on the Special Register
After the publication and granting of the title, it is important to make the Intellectual Property Office aware of any change or error.
This change or error will be recorded on the Special Register for patents and published in the quarterly Appendix of the Journal de Monaco.
This could be, for example, a change in the name of the holder, a change of address, a change in the legal status of the legal person or a material error.
The title “patent” is an intangible asset which may be sold, leased or other. It is essential to record any deeds which affect the lifespan of the patent on the Special Register for patents. The reason for this is that these deeds may then be made public and considered “common knowledge” (enforceable against third parties).
Possible registrations include:
- A sale
- A transfer
- A merger
- A change of ownership
- A patent license
- An announcement pertaining to a patent
- A seizure of a patent
- A removal of a security or a seizure
- A limitation in the protection
- A security pledge