When it comes to securing your intellectual property many people often get muddled up between a patent and a trade mark. Here I’m going to look a little more closely at UK patents…
A patent’s aim is to protect new inventions. It also enables the owner to state how ‘it’ should work, what ‘it’ does and what ‘it’ is made from. Essentially it gives the owner the power to take legal action should another individual make, use, or sell the item without gaining prior permission.
In order to be able to apply for a patent for your invention it must be ‘new’. Further to this it should also have an ‘inventive step’, something that is not obvious to somebody else who is looking at similar products. Finally, it should also be capable of being made or used within a specific industry.
There are many types of ‘inventions’ that fail to be patented as they do not meet the guidelines. For example, a scientific or mathematical discovery cannot be patented. You cannot apply for a patent for an animal or plant and you cannot apply for a patent for a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work.
Patents need to be renewed each year after the first five years for 20 years’ protection.
In many cases by having a patent you will prevent others from copying or manufacturing your product. However, in cases where you believe your rights have been exploited your patent gives you the right to undertake legal action against those exploiting your invention.
Finally, your patent also enables you to sell your invention and all of the associated intellectual property rights. Alternatively you could license the invention to a third party but opt to retain all of the intellectual property rights yourself. Finally, you could choose to discuss your specific invention with other people in an effort to create a business that is based around your invention.
If you are looking to make a patent application then it might be a good idea to speak with a law firm such as BWR patent applications specialists.