Patent law is a combination of legal and technical requirements and is therefore not only complicated but does many permutations possible actions and outcomes. However, this is why specialist law firms like ourselves exist.
This is a brief headline guide to the main steps:
1. Initial consultation: To best understand your invention and how best to protect it, we will invite you to a free 30-minute consultation, during which we will gather some essential information to support the registration process and the functions and intended use for your invention. The problems it addresses and how you solve them.
2. Preliminary considerations: Before beginning the registration process, we will ensure that your invention meets the criteria for patentability. It should be novel, involve an inventive step, and have industrial applicability. To ensure that your investment doesn’t already exist, we will conduct a prior art search to determine if a similar invention already exists. But often your own knowledge of a specialist industry can be a very good guide.
3. Documentation and application forms: to ensure the maximum scope of protection is obtained, and to prevent the likelihood of objections by the UKIPO, we shall prepare a detailed description of your invention, along with any drawings or diagrams, and claims which define the protection you are seeking. Once we have completed your draft application, we shall provide you with a copy prior to filing with the UKIPO. This is key added value which patent attorneys provide.
4. Application search and examination: After filing, the IPO will conduct a search to determine the novelty and inventiveness of your invention. They will also examine the application to ensure compliance with legal and formal requirements. The examination may involve communicating with the IPO examiner to address any issues or objections, which we shall advise you on if they are received. In this step we find out how strong your invention may or may not be.
5. One year after initial application is the opportunity to decide if you want to try and protect your invention in other countries, there are many options here, these can be expensive, so this is best left until nearer the time to best evaluate your options.
6. Publication of the application: If your patent application is deemed to meet the formal requirements, it will be published by the IPO after 18 months from the priority date or filing date. The publication makes your invention's details available to the public.
7. Third-party observations: Once your application is published, third parties have the opportunity to provide observations on the patentability of your invention. They can submit relevant prior art or raise concerns regarding the novelty or inventive step of your invention. If received we shall advise you on the prospects of your application and of the third-party observations and shall defend and respond to these on your behalf.
8. Grant of patent: If the IPO determines that your invention meets the patentability requirements and any objections or observations have been resolved, they will grant you a patent. The grant confers exclusive rights to your invention for a specified period, and up to 20 years from the filing date.
The above process can take any were between the year and around five years.
As mentioned at the beginning, the process is complex and at virtually every stage there are alternative and different outcomes. So having read this far you are in a good position to ask the right questions and seek legal advice or assistance from a patent attorney or professional during the registration process to ensure your application is properly prepared and increases the chances of successful registration.
If you would like to discuss the registration or protection of your invention, or if you would like us to take over the representation of your patent then please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced attorneys at Patent Protect by by telephone +01629 700363, or by sending us a message and we will be happy to advise and support you.
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