Recommendations before applying for a National Patent

  • You are advised to use the standardised forms provided on this website in the “Home/Utilities/Forms” section. 
  • To avoid investing effort and money on something that has already been invented, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the state of the art. To do this, you should perform a preliminary search in the technical field of the invention. 

This search can be done: 

    • Free of charge, using the Inventions databases, available in Spanish as well as other languages. In the "Technology Information/Free Internet Searches" section of the website, you will findstep-by-step information on how to perform these searches. 
    • By requesting, after paying a fee, a Patent Technology Report (ITP). In this case, a SPTO employee will perform a preliminary search of patent documents and scientific literature published worldwide and analyse its relevance to the information provided by the applicant (possible patent or utility model application, research and/or development project, specific technical question, etc). 

Remember that an invention is patentable when it is novel, involves an inventive step and has an industrial application. Novelty is and international requirement, and therefore a search involving only national databases would be insufficient. In addition, confirmation that your invention is not excluded from patent protection under current legislation (art.4 and 5 of the Patent Act) (for example, discoveries, plant varieties, etc.) is necessary. 

  • Avoid any prior disclosure of the invention or publication of anything that describes it, since this could affect the novelty and validity of any patent you might apply for. 
  • Evaluate which market you would like to use your invention in exclusively, selecting the most suitable type of protection in each case based on the size of this market (national, European or international). Depending on your selection, you will be able to choose the most suitable mode: national patent or utility model, European patent, or international PCT application. It may be advisable to submit a national application first. With its submission, you obtain a 12-month priority right that will allow you to postpone the decision to extend protection to other geographic areas. 
  • Before submitting the application, check whether you are eligible for any of the subsidies or exemptions provided for in the legislation in force (for more information, see the “Financial Assistance” section of the website). 
  • The way in which the patent application is written is a key factor for properly protecting your invention. Particularly the claims that describe the object for which you are seeking protection. There are professional consultants, Industrial Property Agents, who specialise in writing and processing patent applications. If you wish, you can consult the list of Agents in the “Industrial Property/Industrial Property Agents” section. 
  • The SPTO offers an On-Duty Examiner service where you can ask any question you have regarding the above. 
  • If you want your application to be processed quickly, you can ask for application of the Fast-Track Patent Granting Programme