Phase 1 - Before filing
- You check the state of the art.
- You keep your invention a secret.
- Your check that the invention is patentable.
- You complete the application form.
- You draft the text of the application.
Phase 2 - From filing to granting of the patent
- On the day of filing:
- You submit the application and pay the required fees.
- The Office provides you with a receipt.
- Within four weeks to two months after filing:
- The Office examines your application.
Phase 3 - Granting the patent
- At the end of the secrecy period (six to eighteen months after filing):
- The Office passes the application to the Council of Government for the Minister of State to issue a decree granting the patent.
- The Office informs you that the patent has been granted and invites you to collect the ownership title.
- The Official Journal of Monaco publishes a notice announcing that the patent has been granted in the Industrial Property Annex.
Step 1: check the state of the art and keep your invention a secret
In order to qualify for protection, your invention must be novel. One of the preliminary steps before filing a patent application is therefore to review the state of the art in the technical field concerned for Monegasque, European and international patents issued in the last twenty years.
Step 2: check that the invention is patentable
In order to obtain a patent in the Principality, in addition to being novel, your invention must provide a technical solution to a technical problem.
Step 3: complete the application form and draft the text of your application
In order to file a national patent, you must complete an application form and draft the text of your application.
Download and complete the form entitled "Requête en délivrance - brevet d’invention ou certificat d'addition” (Application for a patent or certificate of addition).
Print out one copy of the form and sign it.
Please note: drafting a patent requires both legal and technical knowledge. Every word counts: a poorly drafted application may provide you with insufficient protection, delay the application procedure or be rejected. To avoid your application being delayed or rejected, you can enlist the services of an industrial property specialist, who will prepare your application to ensure it meets the requirements and assist you with the rest of the process.
The text of your application or specification must include the following:
- a description (on plain paper): a text describing your invention. This is then used to draft another part of the patent application: the claims. There is no limit on the length of your description, but special care must be taken with the wording, as it will not be possible to make changes to it after the application has been filed.
- one or more claims (on plain paper): a text intended to define specifically the protection you are seeking. This text is based on the description, and all of its content must be found in the description.
- an abstract (on plain paper): the abstract is a summary of the invention.
- one or more drawings (on plain paper): whether they are accompanying the description or the abstract, drawings are not obligatory, but provide non-negligible help in understanding the invention. They may comprise one or more figures or diagrams.
If the application is being filed by an agent, they will submit the original special power of attorney (link to “Who can file a patent?”).
If you are claiming priority, the relevant documents must be submitted along with the application (link to “When to file a patent”).
Step 4: file the application with the Office and pay the fees
Once the patent application has been completed, you must submit it to the Office in person.
You must also pay the necessary filing fees.
The Office will provide you with a receipt indicating the filing number, date and time.
It will also show the amount of any fees paid.
The applicant must sign this document, indicating his name and capacity.
Step 5: The Office examines your application
The Office will then examine your patent application, which entails:
- An administrative examination to check that the application satisfies requirements as to the form and that the filing fee and any other fees have been paid.
- A technical examination to check that the application meets certain substantive conditions, for example that your application concerns a technical invention and satisfies the unity of invention principle.
If your patent specification is not produced in line with application legislation, the Office will invite you to provide new documents within one month.
If your patent application does not fulfil the requirement for unity of invention, you will need to divide it into several applications, one for each inventive concept in your initial application.
This is known as a “divisional application”, and may be made:
- At your initiative, up until the point at which the patent is granted.
- Upon notice from the Office, within a deadline set by the examiner of your application.
The divisional application will be dated to the same date as the initial application.
Application for a certificate of addition
If necessary, and at any time during the life of the patent, you have the possibility of making changes or additions to your invention.
The process for obtaining a certificate of addition is identical to that required for a patent.
The changes or additions will be formally recorded by certificates in the same format as the main patent.
Starting from the respective dates on which they are applied for, these certificates will have the same effects as the main patent, and will end at the same time as the patent.
Step 6: The Office passes the application to the Council of Government
When the secrecy period expires (six, twelve, or eighteen months), patents for which applications have been made in proper order will be granted, but with no guarantee as to the reality, novelty or merit of the invention, or to the faithfulness or accuracy of the description.
The patent will be granted by a decree issued by the Minister of State, confirming that the application was made in accordance with requirements.
The Office will inform you that the patent has been granted and invite you to collect the ownership title.
The ownership title includes a copy of the ministerial decree, to which will be appended a copy of the specification (description and drawings).
IMPORTANT: In the general interest, it is advisable to read the ownership title carefully and inform the Office of any errors as quickly as possible (see section entitled “Reporting an error”).
Thereafter, the specification can be consulted at the Office.
A notice will be published in the Industrial Property Annex to the Official Journal of Monaco, informing the public that your patent has been granted.