Who is concerned
A patent is a title which gives the inventor and/or the applicant the right to prevent other individuals from exploiting the invention listed in the patent.
In return for disclosing the invention, the state grants the inventor sole exploitation rights for a maximum period of 20 years.
Holders of patents are required to publicly disclose the information regarding their inventions. These publications enrich the wealth of technical knowledge and are easily and freely accessible in 'patent' literature:
- the esp@cenet database can be used to search for information from among the patent applications published in over 90 countries and regions;
- the Luxembourg part of the esp@cenet database can be used to consult Luxembourg patents in facsimile format.
In order to be patented, the invention must meet certain patent requirements:
- the invention must be new;
- the invention must involve an inventive activity;
- the invention must be capable of being made or used in industry.
A patent may not be obtained for:
- discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
- purely aesthetic creations;
- plans, principles and methods for intellectual activities, playing games or in the field of economic activity as well as computer programs;
- information presentation;
- methods of medical treatment for humans or animals (in contrast to medical products);
- animal or plant varieties as well as essentially biological procedures used to obtain plants or animals, with the exclusion of microbiological procedures and products obtained via these procedures.
How to proceed
The applicant may submit an application for a national patent at the Office for Intellectual Property (Office de la propriété intellectuelle - OPI) at the Ministry of the Economy (Ministère de l'Economie).
An inventor who files a patent application in Luxembourg may also file an application in other EU Member States by benefiting from the right of priority for 12 months from the date the national patent application was filed.
The applicant may also make an application for a European patent covering up to 36 countries on the European continent, at the discretion of the applicant, at the European Patent Office (EPO). In the designated countries, the European patent issued will have the same legal status as a national patent.
An application for a European patent may also be submitted online at www.epoline.org. To obtain an online filing package, which includes the online filing software, the smart card reader and the smart card with pin code, the applicant must complete the enrolment form and send it to the EPO.
The applicant may make an application for an international patent at the World Intellectual Property Organization in the context of the patent co-operation treaty (PCT).
The PCT is an international agreement which aims to facilitate the filing procedure for patent applications.
More than 130 countries, including most industrialised countries, are members. By making a single international application, the applicant may file a patent in all the countries that have signed the treaty.
Forms / Online services
Who to contact
Office for Intellectual Property - Ministry of the Economy19-21, boulevard Royal
Phone : (+352) 247-84113Fax : (+352) 247-94113
Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology5, avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux
Phone : (+352) 275 888-1Fax : (+352) 275 885
Intellectual property lawyers