Patent Applications – What You Need To Know
If you want to protect a new product, a new method, or a new use for something then a patent application maybe right for you.
Patents protect new inventions. For an invention to qualify for patent protection it must be ‘novel’ in the sense that it has not been publicly disclosed before and ‘inventive’, which is slightly more difficult to define, but essentially means ‘not obvious in light of what has gone before’.
Importantly, obtaining a UK patent can lead to a reduction of corporation tax to 10% for worldwide profit – more information on the patent box.
Certain types of invention are generally excluded from protection by statute, such as scientific theories or literary works, but other forms of protection such as copyright or trade marks might be available. A patent application should be filed before any non-confidential disclosure of the invention.
Patents are territorial rights. For example, a UK patent covers only the UK, and a French patent covers only France.
Once granted, a patent provides its owner with the exclusive right to make, use, sell or import the invention without permission. A patent can last for up to 20 years from filing, but must be renewed each year by payment of renewal fees.
The patent system is complex and can be quite expensive, particularly if protection in foreign countries is required as translation costs and foreign attorney fees can quickly add up. Nevertheless, we aim to minimise the cost of filing and prosecuting your patent application so you can afford as wide a scope of protection as possible within your budget.
Because of the complexity of the patent system we strongly recommend that you seek professional advice at the outset so you can get an idea as to whether your invention is likely to be patentable and some estimate of the costs that will be incurred if you decide to file a patent application.
Please contact us for a free consultation or for more information on patent applications.