Patents are legal protection for inventions. Having one allows you to stop other people or businesses from making, using or selling your invention for 20 years. Solicitors can help you obtain and use a patent.

What's involved?

To patent a product or process, it must involve an inventive step and be capable of application in an industrial context. It can be difficult for someone without legal knowledge to understand whether their invention can be patented based on these abstract and subjective requirements. Solicitors have the experience and expertise to give an accurate assessment of whether your invention is likely to be eligible for a patent.

What does a patent allow?

If a patent is granted to you, you have the exclusive right to produce and sell your invention.

In addition, you can also sell, license out or even mortgage your patent.

Patent specifications

A patent specification is a document describing the invention for which a patent is sought and setting out the scope of the protection of the patent. It must comply with legal rules and generally follows a typical format.

As such, a specification generally contains a section detailing the background and overview of the invention, a description of the invention and the embodiments of the invention and claims, which set out the scope of the protection.

A specification may include figures to aid the description of the invention, or even computer codes, depending upon the subject matter of the application. Most patent offices also require that the application includes an abstract which provides a summary of the invention to aid searching.

A title must also generally be provided for the application.

Once you have all this you can make a patent application.

A commercially exploitable invention could be a hugely valuable asset. It is strongly advisable to seek professional help from a solicitor on how to protect it using a patent.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on workplace law, we can put you in touch with a local specialist intellectual property solicitor free of charge. If you have any questions or would like our help in finding local solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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