A patent is the exclusive right of an inventor to commercialize his/her invention without fear of competition from others and thereby obtaining all the possible benefits of the invention. The patent right is the exclusive right of the inventor of a new product or of a new industrial process to commercialize the invention during twenty years.
An invention is patentable if it:
- Is new (an invention is considered new if it is not part of the state of the art on the application date);
- Involves an inventive step;
- Is capable of industrial application; and
- Is not specifically excluded from protection.
A patent application must be filed with the Netherlands Patents Office, or with the BIP. It is also possible for citizens of St. Maarten to file for patent protection by using the European Patent Convention. A Dutch or European patent which is valid in the Netherlands provides protection in the territories of the Netherlands, St. Maarten, Curacao and the BES islands. Patent protection lasts for twenty years.
If brought before the Court, the following remedies are available:
- Injunctive relief;
- Compensation (payment of profits); and
- Seizure or destruction of the infringing goods.