Patents

Patents are a complex and costly area of law. There is some careful thinking to do when you are deciding whether or not to register your patent.

Get started

Register a trademark

Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest

What is a patent?

A patent is a protection for inventors which stops others from using the invention/s for a period of time.

Can all inventions be patented?

A patent will only be granted for an invention if: 
  • the invention is new

  • it involves an inventive step

  • it is capable of industrial application

  • it is not a computer program, a method of doing business or otherwise excluded.

What do patents do?

If a patent is granted, it gives the patent owner a monopoly over his invention, meaning that no one else can copy, manufacture, sell or import it without permission for up to 20 years.

Who owns a patent?

Usually the patent owner is the inventor. If something is invented by an employee, he will be the inventor specified on the patent application but the patent will usually be applied for and owned by the employer unless something else is agreed in the contract of employment.

How do I get a patent?

An application for a patent needs to be filed with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). You can apply on the IPO website and also find out more information about the process.The official fee to file a UK patent application (including the search fee) is between £230 and £280, but your major cost will be in drafting the patent application, which is a highly specialist activity.

Is it a difficult process?

Patent applications are always expensive and time consuming. Details of the invention and the technology involved also become available to the public after a period of time (18 months in the UK). Others can therefore use the details to develop similar technology and it can be very damaging if your patent application is not ultimately successful.

Before making a patent application, you need to carefully weigh up the potential benefits against the cost and complexity of the process. You may want to Ask a lawyer to help you decide.

The Patent Box

If you come up with a UK or European patent, there is a valuable UK tax break called the Patent Box which your company or its exclusive licensee, if they qualify, can potentially use to reduce any Corporation Tax.

For the right invention, this can make a patent a very valuable corporate asset.

The Intellectual Property Office’s website and the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s website are helpful sources of further information about patents. If a party breaches your patents, consider issuing a cease and desist letter to protect your intellectual property. 

Get started

Register a trademark

Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest