What is a Patents?

A Patent is a legal right granted by the Government to an inventor for an invention. An invention is a solution to a technical problem existing in a particular field of technology.

The entire contents of a patent description of an invention that form the basis for an application for Patent right is referred to as a “patent document”.

What are the primary contents of a patent document?

A patent document contains:

  1. The title of an invention
  2. General description of the invention
  3. The claim(s)
  4. An Abstract
  5. Technical Drawings (if any)

The term of grant of a patent application is twenty (20) years counted from its filing date. After the expiry of 20 years a patent falls into the public domain upon which anyone who is interested can use it freely.

Where and to whom powers to grant patents are vested?

A Patent application is filed with the Competent Authority designated as such by the relevant Sovereign State. It is usually a Government department or an Agency as the case may be. In other words powers to grant patents are vested upon the Registrar of Patents or such name as preferred by the Government of the respective Sovereign State.

In Tanzania application for Patent rights is done through filing form No. P. 2 accompanied by a patent document in triplicate and submitted to the Registrar of Patents with Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA). 

What are the criteria for Patent grant?

There are three criteria for patent grant namely:

  1. Novelty – an invention must be new to be patentable
  2. Inventive Step – an invention is patentable if it is beyond obvious
  3. Industrial Applicability – an invention shall be capable of being industrially workable to be patented.

An Applicant for patent rights may be a natural or legal person who shall file such an application with the Registrar of Patents with BRELA.