Patents protect the methods and processes that make
Your invention must relate to how something works, what it does, what it is
made of, or how it is made.You need to think carefully about the following before applying
for a patent for your product or process:
- Is your invention functional or technical?
Your invention must
relate to how something works, what it does, what it is made of,
or how it is made.
- Is your invention new?
You must not have made your invention
public in any way, anywhere in the world, before you apply for a
patent for it. Conversations with patent agents, solicitors or
our staff are confidential, so will not make your invention
- Is there an inventive step?
Your invention must not be obvious
to someone with a good knowledge of the subject.;
- Does your invention have an industrial use?
must be capable of being made or used in an industry. It must
work in a way which meets established physical laws, for
example, you cannot get a patent for a perpetual-motion machine.
A patent applicant may be an individual or a corporate body, and persons
(whether individuals or corporate bodies) can make joint applications.
Regardless of how original you think your invention
is, a patent may already protect part or all of it. You can search a patent
database to see if your idea is new. This service is not designed as a
comprehensive patents search facility. Therefore, it should not be used to
determine conclusively whether your idea can be patented.
We offer searches that find out if an invention is
new. The searches are not part of the patent application process, but may
help you decide if you should apply for a patent, or establish if you are
free to sell your invention without infringing someone else's rights. A
patentability search identifies any patents or other publications relevant
to the novelty and inventiveness of your product or process.
When you submit the required documents and
information including a completed application form, description, drawings,
claims, abstract and other necessary files, the competent patent office will
send you a receipt, within a period of time, confirming the date the office
received your application and an application number.
After you apply, the patent office will:
- check your application meets the necessary requirements;
- send you a receipt with your application number and filing
- tell you what you need to do and when.
The Patent Office will check your application
against published patents and documents to check your invention is new and
inventive. If your application meets the office's requirements, the
application will be published just after 18 months from your filing or
You must request substantive examination within a given time limit. The
office will examine your application and tell you if it meets the necessary
requirements. If it does not the assigned examiner will tell you what you
need to do and how long you have to do it. When your application meets the
requirements, the patent office shall grant your patent, publish it in its
final form and send you a certificate. After your patent has been granted,
you may want to change the details we hold about it and you will need to
renew it regularly to keep it in force.
A typical patent application takes 3 to 4 years to
grant, the competent patent office may accelerate the procedure at the
applicant’s request. You must meet requirements within the given time
limits, or your application may be terminated. However, you may extend some