Patents and protection of industrial inventions: BionIT Labs and the intellectual property

In order to describe the characteristics of a patent for an industrial invention, it is important to introduce the concept of intellectual property. This is a system of legal protection of intangible assets, which are the result of human creativity and talent, and they acquire a growing economic significance over time.

The patent registration: how does it work?

A patent registration implies the obtainment of exclusive rights on a specific invention for a limited period of time (generally 20 years starting from the patent filing date), during which it is not possible to create, use or sell a product based on the patented technology.

In particular, these rights guarantee exclusive economic exploitation, stimulating, as a result, the production of new inventions, which will then be in the public domain once the patent expires.

In fact, it is no longer possible to renew an expired patent, which will become freely reproducible and will allow the natural progress of technological and industrial growth.

Since the registration has territorial value, the patent is valid only in the Countries where the company decides to submit the application.

After that, in order to continue enjoying the innovation rights in the future, it is necessary to pay an annual maintenance fee, which varies according to each Country; the non-payment of this tax means the loss of all the exclusive rights on the patent.

The fundamental part of a patent is the list of claims, which indicate in details and with technical jargon all the innovative points of the proposal. Each patent also contains an in-depth description of the claims and related technical drawings, which help to better understand the invention.

European Patent Office and patents publication

The authority responsible for granting European patents is the European Patent Office, an intergovernmental organization established in October 7, 1977 with headquarters in Munich.

Several official databases give the opportunity to consult all the patents published over the years, whether or not they have already been granted. 

However, in the first 18 months from the application, the patent is not publicly disclosed. As a consequence,  the patent become publicly available only after this period of time.

For example, the Espacenet platform, in collaboration with the European Patent Office, offers free access to the data contained in more than 100 million patents around the world and allows to know their legal status, if they have been granted and if they are still in force.

Fun Fact

Albert Einstein worked from 1902 to 1909 at the European Patent Office in Bern, in charge of examining new electrical devices. This work made a considerable contribution to the development of his scientific instinct, fundamental for the research activity, which he had already started in that period.

BionIT Labs: today and tomorrow

In 2019 the mechanism behind Adam’s Hand was patented in Italy and today it is about to be extended to Europe, the USA, China and India. The innovation introduced in this patent allows Adam’s Hand to use just one motor to drive all the fingers of the hand, making them automatically adapt to the shape and size of the grasped objects.

Our path began in November 2016, with the Italian patent application, followed by the international extension through the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) procedure in November 2017.

In 2018, the European Patent Office expressed a positive opinion on the international patent application and in April 2019 we entered the national phases in USA, Europe, China and India; in the same month we obtained the Italian patent.

Timeline of BionIT Labs’ first patent

We keep working with the same enthusiasm in the drafting of two new patents, in order to protect the electronic aspects of our device and the artificial intelligence algorithm we developed in order to calibrate Adam’s Hand in a fast and effective way, perfectly adapting it to each single user’s muscular tone.

There are many innovations in progress: some of them are ready to become reality, while others are in the development phase.

The team at work on the new patents

The challenge of BionIT Labs is to provide our users with a ‘state-of-the-art’ technology, able to https://bionitlabs.cominnovate the bionics’ and prosthetics’ markets, by proposing an excellent https://bionitlabs.comdevice, perfectly aligned with our Mission: Turning disabilities into New Possibilities!

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