An International Guide to
Patent Case Management for Judges

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1.2.1 Overview of the patent system

Every chapter starts with a general description of the patent system in that jurisdiction, including the origins of the patent law and the types of patents protected under each respective regime. In addition to invention patents protected in all jurisdictions, some countries provide protection for so-called “minor inventions,” frequently in the form of utility models, which may play a significant role in the local innovation system.5 This Guide primarily addresses judicial proceedings for invention patents. The chapters also note, where available, mechanisms to extend the scope of protection for an improvement introduced in the object of the invention;6 or duration of (invention) patent rights to compensate for the long time required to obtain regulatory approval.7

While in most countries patent rights are obtained through national processes and these national rights are mutually independent, in some jurisdictions patent rights may also come into existence through regional patent instruments that facilitate protection across borders. This feature gives rise to unique considerations in judicial proceedings.8