Our expert legal advisers and executives manage every stage of the patenting process and we cover all patenting costs, which are substantial.
The patenting process can be long and expensive (several thousand pounds, at the very least, and sometimes far more) so we will regularly assess the commercial progress of your technology to decide whether to continue patenting or not. We will decline to file a patent that is unlikely to pay for itself, and abandon a filing that cannot be commercialised
The typical patent process
We will first apply for a patent in the UK. This sets the priority date for the patent. Any other patents filed after this date which have similar claims will be invalidated. Also, the duration of a patent will be determined from the priority date. In the 12 months after the initial filing work should be done to exemplify further the invention. Then we will finalise the details of the patent including a full description of the invention, diagrams, claims and technical features.
At this point we will select the countries in which to patent and apply for international protection under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
Over one hundred countries have signed the PCT, which means that a single PCT filing can establish protection across most countries in which we will seek to patent the invention. During this stage there will also be a patent and literature search to verify that the invention has not already been described.
At 18 months after the initial filing the patent application will be published and can be commented on. An International Search Report and Written Opinion will also be issued. The patent will then enter the national/regional phase, at 30 months after the initial filing, and will be examined by the patent offices in chosen countries.
Once any objections in a specific territory are satisfied a patent will be granted and in most countries it will last for 20 years from the initial filing date.
Patent applications and granted patents are published by patent offices world-wide. In most countries patent applications are published 18 months after filing. Patent searching can help to establish whether your idea/invention already exists. Patent literature can also be useful in determining the scope of your invention and whether your activities will infringe on existing patents.
Most patent information that is in the public domain is available on the Internet but patent searching can be difficult
Published patent information is available from the following websites:
- Espacenet (European Patent Databases)
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
- UK Intellectual Property Office
Further information on patents:
- UK Intellectual Property Office (Patents)
- World Intellectual Property Organization FAQS (Patents)
Details of patent agreed and PCT countries chosen
Patent publication with search report
Patent granted in each chosen country