Patent applications


Patents protect the features and processes that make things work. This lets inventors profit from their inventions.

A granted patent will give you exclusive rights over your invention and you will be able to take legal action against anyone who uses it without your permission. This monopoly right generally lasts for about 20 years and is the best method to protect inventions and mechanical processes.

If you want to register a patent for your invention, it is vital to seek legal advice from a specialist intellectual property solicitor.

How do I apply for a patent?

In order to be protected the patent is required to be registered with the patent office so that everyone can study it - the idea being that others can learn from it. After 20 years it will become available for anyone to use.

Patent registration is important as the patents system works on the basis of awarding the patent to whoever files the patent first, and not who was the first inventor. Patent registration should be considered almost immediately and an application made in good time.

A patent registration can cost from:

  • £2,000 for a UK patent
  • Up to and over £30,000 for a European patent

It is therefore prudent to have a professional patent search conducted before you invest any money and time in your idea. This will ensure that the idea is not already owned by someone else and therefore able to be registered.

Is your invention patentable?

An invention will only be patentable if it satisfies four conditions:

  • The invention must be new
  • Constitute an inventive step
  • Be capable of industrial application
  • Not be within the exclusions of the Patent Act 1977

Assessing whether an invention meets the criteria set out in the Patents Act 1977 is often a matter for expert solicitors. Our patent rights lawyers can advise you as to whether your invention is patentable and guide you through the application process - drafting all relevant documents where necessary.

Patent infringement

If you have already successfully registered a patent and suspect that it is being infringed you must seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. It may be possible to seek an injunction to restrain the infringer from using your invention. If your patent has been infringed you may be able to obtain:

  • Damages or an account of profits
  • An order for delivery up or destruction of the infringing goods
  • A declaration that your patent is valid and has been infringed

If you have a patent issue you should contact an intellectual property lawyer. They are specialists in dealing with all sorts of patent issues, including patent registration. If a dispute arises, the help of a solicitor is essential, whether the issue is resolved by negotiations or through the courts.

Do you want to file a patent but are unsure if your design is original? Contact Law can put you in touch with a specialist patent solicitor to ensure your design is valid. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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