Before you apply for a patent

There are several things it is wise to check before filing a patent application.

Check if someone else has protected a similar invention 

You may be wasting time and money developing technology that has already been invented or patented? It is therefore a good idea to check which rights exist in Norway and other countries, and avoid spending time and energy developing a product that others have the rights to.

Check for existing rights

Norway: A search in our database gives you access to publicly available informasjon on Norwegian patents and patent applications. The database is free of charge and open to all users. Search our database

Other countries: List of international databases which are free of charge and open to all users

We can carry out a preliminary search for you

If you would like the Norwegian Industrial Property Office to check Norwegian and international databases for you, you can order a preliminary search. Preliminary searches are confidential and may be useful regardless of whether you are planning on filing an application for patent protection.
Read more about preliminary searches

Do you own your invention?

Have you made an invention in connection with your work? Are you unsure what rights of ownership you have to your invention? There may be special rules governing this at your workplace.
Read more about employee inventions 

It is also possible to transfer rights to an invention to someone else.
See the form: Declaration of right to the invention

Does your invention have a particular design or name?

Does your invention have a particular design, name or logo? For patents, novelty is an absolute requirement, which means that the invention cannot be patented if it was known to the public before the filing date of the patent application. For designs, this requirement is moderated, enabling you to make your design public for a period of 12 months before you file an application for registration.

If you wish to combine patent and design registration, you must take into consideration that:

  • the design application not be made public until you have filed your patent application
  • the design application must be filed within 12 months after the patent application has been made publicly available, due to the novelty requirement (grace period)

Read more about design registration

If you wish to use a specific name or a logo for your product, you should consider registering it as a trademark.
Read more about trademark registration

Need help to formulate your application?

Patenting is a complex field where it is easy to make mistakes. If you have limited experience with patenting or limited time to work on your application, you should consider using a professional patent agency or patent attorney. A patent agency can help you prepare and formulate your patent application. Strict requirements and deadlines apply. A patent agency will assist you in monitoring these deadlines, and various payments such as annual fees. A list of professional patent agents can be found on the website Rådgiverdatabasen (in Norwegian only) or on Google.

If you are planning to apply abroad

If you have filed a patent application in one country (e.g. Norway) and wish to file an application for the same invention in other countries, it is important to note that this application must be filed within 12 months of the first application. This ensures that you have the same "priority" (LINK) date, and that the novelty aspect of your invention will be assessed as if it had been filed at the same time as the first application.
Read more about applying for patent protection in other countries

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