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What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention which may be a product or  a process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem. A patent prevents others from making, using and selling a patented invention for a fixed period of time. In exchange for this exclusive right, the patent owner is required to disclose the invention.

A patent, therefore, is a powerful business tool for companies to gain exclusivity over a new product or process, develop a strong market position and earn additional revenues through licensing. A complex product such as a camera or a car may incorporate a number of inventions that are covered by several patents which may be owned by different patent holders.

The law governing patents in Saint Lucia

The law governing the procedure for obtaining a patent is the Patents Act No. 16 of 2001 – the draft Regulations are presently with the Attorney General’s Chambers.