A patent may be granted for an invention, be it a product, a process of manufacture, a composition or many other things, if it is shown to be:

  1. novel;
  2. involve an inventive step and
  3. capable of industrial application.

However, some types of invention are excluded from patentability, such as a scientific or mathematic discovery, an artistic work, or a method for doing business.

If you have a new invention contact us today for a confidential discussion to assess whether patent protection may be possible.

A granted patent lasts for a maximum period of 20 years, subject to payment of any applicable renewal fees, and provides the owner with the exclusive right to make, use, import or sell the patented invention in the territory covered by the patent.  It can take a number of years to obtain a patent but the most important part of the procedure is filing an application at the Patent Office prior to any public disclosure of your idea, since any such disclosure will generally invalidate any later filed application.

An application for filing a U.K. patent must include a patent specification consisting of a full description of the invention with drawings, if applicable, a set of claims defining the invention and a short abstract, together with the necessary official forms and payment of official fees, such as a search request fee.   Once filed, the application will be searched by the patent office to identify any earlier published documents that are considered relevant to the novelty and/or inventiveness of your idea.  The application is published eighteen months after the first filing date which then sets a six-month period for requesting examination application.  The application is examined by the patent office to assess whether it meets the legal requirements for the grant of a patent.  The Applicant is provided with a number of opportunities to respond to any objections raised by the Examiner during this procedure to endeavour to obtain acceptance of the application.

We are highly experienced in drafting patent specifications and prosecuting applications before the national patent offices.  We will guide you through the procedure every step of the way.

A patent is obtained via a national  patent office and is generally territorial, meaning that separate applications have to be filed in each country in which protection is required.  However, foreign applications filed within 12 months of the initial U.K. filing date will be able to benefit from its original filing date.  Furthermore, regional patents may be obtained for certain areas, such as Europe, and it is possible to file an international patent application covering the majority of countries for an initial 30 month period which delays the major expanse of filing in individual territories or regions until after this date.

We will be more than happy to explain the various options available to you and provide detailed cost estimates.

Image oourtesy of Stuart Miles/

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