Patent Application

To obtain a patent, an individual must file a patent application

This patent application needs to contain the following information:

BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION:

The patent application must include a summary of the invention consisting background and a detailed description of the invention, including specifications and visual aid materials. The background should be explained in unambiguous language and should disclose how the invention is made and operated.

The specifications should discuss how the invention overcame the unsolved problems of the existing design. Prior art documents, that is, documents that are available to the public describing prior developments, including patents and scientific articles are also discussed to show their failure in addressing the existing problem. This final account should be carefully written so that an individual skilled in the same field would know how to reproduce the invention.

Drawings and plans may be incorporated into the description to aid in understanding the invention.   After the application is filed the description cannot be revised to include new materials.

CLAIMS:

The claims are statements that define the scope of protection granted by rights of the patent. They indicate the scope and limitations of the patent so that other researchers can steer clear.  In the event of a legal dispute, they are used as guides in the courts in determining whether or not a patent is infringed. The claim gives a technical definition of the invention.

The claims will contain:

  • Technical features of the invention that helps in defining the invention.
  • A section that categorizes the technical features that are to be protected.

Claims can contain tables and chemical or mathematical formulae but should not contain any drawing or graph.  Any new or additional information to be added after the original filing application has to submitted as a new or amended claim.

Patent Fees:

Patent application fees in Trinidad and Tobago are approximately TT$ 5,000.00.  This does not include the drafting fees for the patent attorney or patent agent which is often the most significant cost, ranging from TT$ 9,000.00 to TT$ 30,000.00 depending on the complexity. When filing abroad the cost for the patent attorney can reach US$ 30,000.00 or higher.

Patent Filing Deadlines:

In Trinidad and Tobago, as in the United States, you must file a patent application within one year after you first commercialize, publish or disclose the details of the invention.  In many foreign countries you do not have this one year grace period, and so the safest route is to file your patent application before you publish or commercialize your invention.