Is the exclusive right granted to the inventor (or to the person to whom the inventor assigns the rights) to exploit an invention for a limited period of time. Through a patent both, new products and the processes for its production can be protected. In Ecuador patents are granted for twenty years, constituting the main legal instrument for technological development.
An invention must meet three requirements in order to be patentable:
- Absolute novelty (means that the invention must not be reported or known before the patent is filed).
- Inventive level (the invention is not obvious to a person skilled in the art of the invention);
- Industrial application (the invention could be used in the unlimited and uniform reproduction of products). In addition, on this matter the law establishes limitations to patent certain things, even if they are considered inventions, and lists other that cannot be considered as invention.