I have produced a particular type of a very beautiful money purse that, after I introduced it at an exhibition in this sector, has roused the interest of many people. I would like to have it patented but I have been told that I can’t as it is now too late, is it true?

It is really a good rule to deposit patents of your own innovative objects before presenting them to the public, but unfortunately not everybody does this, often preferring to first evaluate if the market has an interest for it, and only deciding to patent it if this is positive, but by then is not always possible. If the money purse has some technical particulars, meaning that because of the way it is made the coins could be better distributed or kept, i.e. that inside there is another functionality patentable as an invention or as a utility model, to apply for a patent is really too late. The regulation on the subject of patents allows filing a patent application only when the product has never been “revealed” in any manner or form, therefore, if this has been presented at an exhibition, it has been widely shown, so much so to deprive it of the requisite of novelty. However, considering that in this particular case it has been defined “beautiful”, you could always opt for the registration of the model, ex ornamental model. The regulation implemented to protect this line, on the subject of the shape of an item allows, in fact, registering such a shape even when the holder has already presented it to the media, as long as this is done within a year from the time of showing it. However, in this particular instance, if you opt for this kind of registration, it would still not be possible to prevent others making a money purse with the same functions, but you could prevent others making one exactly like it, both in the shape and colours.