Covarrubias filed the first provisional patent application in Chile, which constitutes a new modality of invention patents. This figure was enshrined in the new Industrial Property Law, which came into force on May 9, 2022, and seeks to facilitate access to trademark and patent protection.

The objective of the application filed for the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, within the context of this new law, is to provisionally protect the innovation developed by a research team of the UC School of Engineering and the Institute of Biological and Medical Engineering. The technology consists of a sustainable, safe, and economical solution for the treatment of Arsenic in industrial processes.

It should be noted that a provisional patent corresponds to a legal modality that is useful to preserve the patentability of inventions that are in a development phase, which allows the

applicant to maintain a priority date, without subjecting the invention to the formal requirements of a standard patent. Currently, this figure is only available in some countries, such as the United States, Australia, Portugal and now Chile.

“This precautionary patent allows us to advance quickly in the development of our technology to the market,” said Álvaro Videla, the professor from the School of Engineering’s Mining Department who has led the project. “With the protection we can now approach potential investors to carry out the transfer to the market,” he added.

In this way, those who develop new ideas and have a provisional patent will have greater freedom to participate in projects and obtain resources, without the fear of losing ownership of their invention.