* This Glossary is partially based on Lechter, 1995; Vaver, 1999; Velasquez and Boulet, 1999. It focuses on terminology relating to the patent field, though some terms have a broader use.
♦ Best mode: The best way known by the inventor at the time of filing a patent application for carrying out or practicing the invention.
♦ Claim: One or more statements in a patent or application that precisely define the specific features of the invention for which patent protection is granted or sought.
♦ Compulsory license: The authorization given by a judicial or administrative authority to a third party for the use of a patented invention, without the consent of the patentee, on various grounds of general interest (absence of working, public health, anticompetitive practices, emergency, national defense).
♦ Disclosure: A description or revelation of an invention made by the inventor. It also applies to acts of divulgation, including those made by third parties, that may destroy the novelty of an invention.
♦ Doctrine of equivalents: A conceptual framework to determine whether a violation exists when there is no literal infringement of patent claims.
♦ Essential drugs: Drugs selected for their efficacy and safety to meet the priority health needs in a given country or region. The essential drugs concept has been the basis of WHO’s drug strategy since 1975. The criteria for incorporating a drug in the WHO list of essential drugs also includes price considerations.
♦ Exhaustion of intellectual property rights: Doctrine according to which a patent holder “exhausts” his/her rights after the first legitimate sale of the patented product in a country, region or on the international market. It provides a legal justification for the admission of parallel imports.
♦ Generic drug: A pharmaceutical product which is not protected by a patent in force, and which is commercialized under a non-proprietary name or a brand name.
♦ Infringement: The unauthorized making, using, or selling of a product or process that uses an invention protected by a patent. The determination of an infringement allows the right-holder to recover civil remedies against the infringer. Some infringements are also criminal offences.
♦ Intellectual property: A category of public law that generally includes copyrights, patents, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, utility models, plant breeder’s rights, integrated circuits rights and trade-secrets. A sui generis regime for data bases has also been established in some countries.
♦ License (voluntary): Authorization given by a right-holder (licensor) to someone (licensee) to exercise acts that only the licensor can legally do.
♦ Novelty: Requirement of patentability. It exists when an invention was not made publicly available (generally anywhere in the world) before the date of application of the patent.
♦ Obviousness/inventive step: Requirement of patentability. It is generally met when the invention is not obvious to a person normally skilled in the relevant field of technology.
♦ Parallel import: The importation, without the authorization of the owner of an intellectual property right, of a protected product marketed abroad by the patentee or by an authorized party.
♦ Patent: A title granted to protect an invention, generally for a twenty-year period.
♦ Patentee: The owner or holder of a patent.
♦ Patent application: A legal petition that describes an invention and specifies the claims.
♦ Patent Co-operation Treaty: A 1978 agreement administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) under which inventors can file international applications in a member country and, after a search of prior art or preliminary examination, have them forwarded to other member countries for independent determination of patentability.
♦ Prior art: All of the pertinent and applicable knowledge in the public domain at the time a patent application is filed.
♦ Priority right: The right to acquire an intellectual property right where competing applications are filed, based on the priority in the date of application.
♦ Right-holder/title-holder: Terms used to indicate anyone with a proprietary interest in an intellectual property right.
♦ Sui generis: A term meaning a specialized regime of intellectual property rights, separate from copyright, patents and other chapters of intellectual property rights.
♦ Working: The use of an invention in a commercial context, such as manufacturing of a patented product, use of a patented process and commercialization of a protected product. In some cases, also the importation of a patented product.