For our legislation, the invention of products or procedures are patentable if they are new, involve an inventive activity and if they are susceptible of industrial application.
The protection that the act provides to the patent owner is for a limited period of time; in our country the period is for twenty years starting from the moment of the filing of the application.
The protection of a patent means that the invention can not be legally produced or manufactured, used, distributed or sold commercially without the consent of the owner.
The patent owner has the right to decide who can or cannot use the patented invention during the period the invention is protected. The owner can also give his permission or license to a third party to use the invention according to agreed terms. The owner can also sell the invention right to a third party who becomes the new owner. When the patent expires, the protection ends, and the invention enters public domain; the owner no longer has exclusive rights over the invention which becomes available for commercial exploitation by third parties.
The first step in securing a patent in Argentina is filing a patent application. The patent application generally contains; the title of the invention, an indication of the technical field, it must include the background and description of the invention in a clear language and enough detail that an individual with an average understanding of the field could use or reproduce the invention. These descriptions are generally accompanied by drawings, maps or diagrams to better describe the invention. The application also contains various “claims”, that is, information that determines the extent of the protection granted by the patent. In Argentina, scientific theories, mathematical methods, natural substances discoveries, commercial methods or medical treatment methods (as opposed to medical products) are not patentable.
Following a period after the filing of the patent application, a preliminary exam will take place in order to solve possible formal defects in the application for the publishing. Prior preliminary examinations, the application is published in the following 18 months after the filing. After the publishing, there is a period in which third parties can make observations on the patent requested.