protect your 'freedom to operate' by sharing your innovative ideas!
We aim to stimulate innovation by providing an open, free & social alternative to the traditional patent offices
Registration and renewals fees are expensive
Writing a patent is difficult & requires expensive advice
Often hard to understand, vague legalese
Slow publication process
Protection is territorial
Both defensive and offensive
Writing an open patent is easy.
Protection is international
We FOSTER OPEN innovation
Publish your innovations and we enable conversation about them.
Find inspiration in our knowledge database. Follow your favorite topics or innovators.
WE offer Protection
A novel open patent protects you as a defensive publication. Since its date stamped publication is valid as prior art, others can no longer stop you by obtaining a patent on the same innovation. This helps you to maintain your freedom to operate.
We empower innovators
You can share the unique URLs of your profile page and your open patents. You can list your unique open patent numbers in your CV. We provide quality metrics about open patents and open patent holders.
We facilitate prior art discovery
Patent offices don't grant patents when they are 100% overlapped by prior art. However, patent offices have a very hard time finding prior art if your innovation is not well described and published. We help with search functionality, an API, Patent Classification, tags, ...
FAQ: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is an open patent?
An open patent is an enabling description of an innovative idea, invention, product, method, etc, published at the Open Patent Office. Enabling description means that the disclosure is described in enough detail to allow others skilled in the domain to implement the idea or to make the product. After our immediate publication and date stamping, the novel aspects of this disclosure enter the public domain as prior art. Such disclosure can be used as a strategy to prevent others from obtaining patents on the same ideas. This strategy can be used to maintain your freedom to operate.
Why would I publish an open patent?
Help society and share your ideas and inventions in the public domain!
If you don't want to block others from market, or you don't have a business model based on licenses, you don't need a traditional patent.
If you don't want to be blocked by others: secure your freedom to operate.
If you want others to build upon your ideas.
If the (additional) revenue of a traditional patent would be small compared to the costs of a full patent application (legal advice for the difficult writing process, registration and renewal fees in the patent office of each country where you want a monopoly.)
If your new ideas are only incremental to your existing patents, and these existing patents are enough to block others.
If you want to showcase your innovations and expertise. We will help you with a profile page and open patent numbers that you can list in your CV.
If your idea is difficult to patent or it isn't 'patentable subject matter' (in some countries), such as computer programs or genetic sequences. What is not patentable today in a certain country might be tomorrow or elsewhere. Protect your freedom to operate today.
When is an open patent not a good idea?
We don't consider it a good idea to openly describe ideas that do more harm than good. Keep your ideas for weapons secret. If you are afraid that the dangerous idea is so obvious that somebody else will have the same idea soon, please apply for a patent and block everyone from implementing the product during the next 20 years.
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The Open Patent Office is an international non-profit organisation founded in Brussels, Belgium.
Frederik Questier is a professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, focussing on the intersections of openness, innovation, technologies, education and the medical sector. He is consultant for ICT projects, mainly in developing countries. He is also co-founder of Chamilo, a Free open source e-learning platform.
Wim Schreurs is researcher at the Center for Law, Science, Technology & Society Studies, lawyer for creative and innovative enterpreneurs and lecturer at PXL University College. Wim represents artists, writers and software developers and focuses on the relationship between technology and fundamental rights.
Building, desk and worker photos are CC0 public domain.
Photo of Frederik is CC by-nc-nd by Christophe Empsen,