Based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Albright IP is a firm of British and European Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys. With their extensive experience, our UK and European Attorney teams work with clients to obtain practical, potent, and cost-effective IP (intellectual property) protection both nationally and globally.
However, you might be wondering if you will be able to obtain a patent for your invention.
A specialist area of law, intellectual property law governs the ownership of creative property. In a world that has new ideas and inventions appearing every day, inventors must protect their creations from others who may try to profit from them.
WHAT IS A PATENT?
A patent for invention protects the ideas behind how things are designed and how they work.
A patent is a legal right which aims to ensure that other individuals or companies cannot benefit from the time and effort you have put into researching and developing your invention.
For a limited amount of time (typically 20 years), it gives you the right to stop others from making, using, or selling your invention without your permission.
CAN I PATENT MY INVENTION?
The main question to answer is whether or not your invention is patentable. Several criteria need to be met in order to obtain a patent for your invention.Firstly, your invention must be a device, product, or process that can be used practically within the industry.
Things that qualify include decorative designs, discoveries, theories, or ways of thinking. However, some creative works may be entitled to other types of protection and/or copyright.
Additionally, your invention must be new, and must be sufficiently different from any previous invention. This means that it cannot be something that has been publicly available or published prior to the date of your own patent application.
The invention must also be non-obvious. In other words, the solution must not be something that anyone with some general technical expertise in the relevant field can obviously derive or suggest. It should be innovative, even to someone who has good knowledge of the subject.
HOW DO I APPLY TO PATENT MY INVENTION?
As patent attorneys, Albright IP will undertake all the legal written work to describe in technical terms your idea. We will build you a legal ring fence, and argue and counter-argue the validity of your idea before not only the UK Intellectual Property Office, but also each patent office across the globe in order to achieve a successful outcome resulting in the strongest patent rights possible.
The process in the United Kingdom as a whole can normally take around 5 years. However, we can apply for acceleration, and by doing that, it is perfectly possible to obtain grant of your patent in well under a year.
To successfully patent the invention, there are numerous critical steps that if missed will result in your patent application being refused.
Before applying, you need to ensure that your patent invention is new. Our team are able to conduct pre-application searches for you.
ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS?
There are some restrictions or exclusions that must be avoided in order to patent inventions. An invention may be deemed not patentable if it is classed as:
- A discovery
- A scientific theory
- An aesthetic creation, literary or artistic work
- A way of thinking, playing a game, or doing business
- Something that is naturally occurring
HOW LONG DOES AN INVENTION PATENT LAST?
In many countries, the standard period that a patent for invention lasts is 20 years.
In the United Kingdom, patents need to be renewed on the 4th anniversary of it being filed, and once granted. It will then need to be renewed annually, on or before the last day of the month in which you first filed it.
The patent can be renewed up to 3 months before, or 1 month after the due date without incurring a surcharge.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
To patent inventions successfully, we are conscious that there is a steep learning curve. The Albright IP team aims to provide proactive and practical free initial guidance in an easily understandable and digestible form.
As well as advising about patenting inventions, our team also provides guidance regarding Registered Designs. These aim to protect the appearance of your products.
Additionally, please ask us for help with protecting your brand image, such as Company Name. Your Trade Marks are critical to your success, and must be handled with care and diligence.
Similarly, Copyright covers your literary, artistic, and graphical works. Again, please feel free to ask for advice.
Keeping ahead of your competitors has never been more important. Growing your business, and securing both tangible assets (systems and products) and intangible assets (intellectual property and know-how) will help to differentiate yourself, ring fence your part of the market, and make you attractive downstream to potential buyers and/or investors.
We have many decades of accumulated experience working with inventors, designers, entrepreneurs, and businesses or all sizes. Our intellectual property services will assist you in protecting your new designs and products in an efficient, clear, and cost-effective way.
If you would like further information, please contact us on +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak to a qualified British and European patent attorney, or fill in the form below.