Dairy Products

Intellectual property, especially patents, can be decisive for the transformation of innovations and inventions into dairy products or competitive means of production, which should be reflected in the increase of the profit margin. Companies can also use patents to make profits from licensing them to companies, which – in turn – have the ability to market them.
The patent, transparent and direct

The holder has an exclusive exploitation right over an invention, under the protection of the title called simple patent. In the dairy industry, the invention may have as its object a product or a technical process which, in a very broad sense, provides a new solution. Here, too, a patent grants protection to the invention for a period of 20 years. In the particular case, in which the patented invention perfects a previously patented invention and without which it cannot be applied, the duration of protection is limited to that of the previous patent, without being shorter than 10 years. In fact, the patent gives the holder the right to prohibit third parties for goods, performing, without its authorization, the manufacture, sale, offer for sale, use, import or storage (for sale, offer for sale or use). For methods or methods of their use , the patent holder is entitled to decide who may use the invention in which the invention is protected. He may license the use to a third party on mutually accepted terms.

Upon expiration of a patent, the owner no longer has exclusive rights over the invention, which may be exploited by third parties for commercial purposes. However, there are many patented inventions, considered revolutionary at the time of granting the patent, but which (due to the rapid technical evolution) do not cover the patenting period. For example, the ultrasonic method of tracking the milk coagulation process (2001) has remained, in most modern processing spaces, following computer monitoring, applied today, from the time of milking to the distribution of the finished product. The patent of invention continuously stimulates the inventors, by the recognition granted to their creativity and by the material capitalization, in trade or in a technical-industrial way. There are incentives that encourage the innovative spirit, which finds its results in satisfying the final consumer of dairy products. The patents for invention are granted, in Romania, by OSIM which, as a specialized governmental body with sole authority on the territory of the country, ensures protection in the field of industrial property.

How and to whom?

After the filing of the patent application, accompanied by the description of the invention and the claim, the applicant may be required to be examined for the purpose of issuing the patent. The decision to grant or reject the request is taken within a maximum period of 18 months from the date of requesting the examination. An invention is patented if it is new, results from an inventive step and is susceptible of application in the field. The invention of obtaining a new breed of animal is patentable if it is new, distinct, homogeneous and stable.

In the dairy industry, the invention is considered as such, if it is not contained in the current stage of the production chain. It includes all knowledge that has become accessible to the public, up to the date of registration of the patent application or the recognized priority. The patenting abroad of the inventions belonging to the Romanian natural persons is made only after the registration of the patent application at OSIM. Throughout the validity of the patent, the holder is obliged annually to pay the fees for maintaining the patent in force. Non-payment entails the forfeiture of the rights of the holder.

The geographical indication , the increasingly pressing problem in the food industry, represents strictly a certain origin and a quality or reputation of the patented food, the consequence of its origin. Dairy products are produced or are influenced by specific local factors, such as climate and soil (Seaside, Montana, Campeni). OSIM registers the geographical indications and grants the applicant the right to use them, after the Ministry of Agriculture certifies the geographical indication of the dairy products to be registered.

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