UK Patent Filing Options
There are three choices on filing the application. Each of these options is discussed in more detail below.
Filing Option 1 – Simply File the application
If the application is simply filed then nothing will happen until the official search is requested, which must be done within 12 months of filing. This option therefore delays the costs incurred with the official search. This option may be beneficial if the chances of obtaining a patent are low, as the applicant can have ‘patent pending’ to deter competition whilst keeping filing costs to a minimum. It may also be preferable if the UK application is only filed to establish a priority date (see Overseas Patents for more information) and grant of a patent in the UK is not intended.
Filing Option 2 – File the application and request the official search
If the official search is requested on filing then the search results will be issued within around 4 months. The search results will give us a good idea as to whether or not a patent is likely to be granted. Thus, we would recommend requesting the search on filing if you are considering overseas protection.
Filing Option 3 – File the application and request the official search and examination.
This option is normally the fastest way to obtain a patent in the UK.
We would recommend this option if you are seeking investors, or are considering licensing the patent application and any subsequent patent. This is because any potential investors or licensee is likely to want to know the chances of a patent being granted before entering into a commercial agreement.
If search and examination is requested on filing then a combined search and examination report can be issued within around 4 months. We can then respond to the examination report arguing against any objections and amending the application as necessary.
This means that a patent can be put in order for grant even before it is published.