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Patent Advice - Why Patent, how much a Patent Costs

What is a patent?

Patent: A patent protects the functionality of the product in terms of how it works and its application. Once granted, the patent gives the owner the right to prevent others from producing, importing or selling their invention, within their geographical jurisdiction, without prior permission.

Why patent a product?

A patent application prevents anyone globally from filing the same application and it be granted.
A granted patent provides monopoly on the market and prevents competitors from creating imitation products.

Important information about patenting

Although patents are very important they are not applicable to every project. Sometimes it is not possible to obtain a patent on your idea and sometimes there are other more relevant forms of protection from which you could benefit. See Idea Protection - Vital Information...

We conduct a free review to establish which is the right form of protection for you, in order that you can avoid potential unnecessary costs.

Some people may choose to seek the services of a patent attorney but this is not always beneficial, particularly at this early stage. Patent attorneys can be very expensive and as they do not offer help with design and development or provide marketing advice, it is not beneficial to approach them if your project is still at the conceptual stage.

Patent attorneys are vital when looking to file for a patent overseas. If you have already fully developed and prototyped your product and/or you have already submitted a UK patent application, we would recommend seeing a patent attorney.

How much does a patent cost?

The UK application fee currently costs between £230-280 and you have 12 months in which to make payment, therefore you have 12 months after the UK patent application has been filed before difficult and expensive decisions have to be made regarding patenting overseas. See Patent Application...

This allows 12 months to test the market and approach industry with your product to provide you with the necessary feedback to make these decisions.

After four years, once granted, you will have annual renewal fees to pay. These start off at almost a quarter of the application fee and rise in small increments each year until the 20th year, when the patent expires.

In some instances, if you acquire a licensing deal it may be agreed that the company takes on future patenting costs and therefore the costs of patenting overseas, maintaining your patents may not even come out of your pocket! See Sell your Idea - Licensing...

NB. We endeavour to keep our costs to a minimum to avoid you spending unnecessary funds with a patent attorney. Although there are undoubtedly costs attached when developing or protecting an idea they needn't be high at this early stage. Don't let the associated costs or complications deter you from obtaining a patent on your idea, because a granted patent could be incredibly lucrative in the long run. It is essential to complete as much work as possible before filing your patent to increase the chances of your patent being granted.

How do I apply for a patent?

To apply for a patent you must draft an application of all the relevant sections and attach this to a completed Form 1, to be sent to the UK Intellectual Property Office. See Idea Protection - Patent Application...

You do not have to send fees with your application as you have 12 months to pay these, but you can send the application fee and search fee at this time if you wish.

You can send your application by post, fax or deliver by hand.

You can also now apply online to the UKIPO.

To apply for a patent in any other country you must first apply in the UK and then apply elsewhere within the first 12 months.

To apply for a European Patent Convention (EPC) you must apply to one of the European Patent Offices (EPO) - Munich, The Hague, Berlin, Vienna - or you can apply via the UK IPO who will forward the application to the correct office.

To apply for a PCT (International Patent) you must apply to either the UK IPO to be forwarded onto the correct office or to the EPO.

For more information on the patent application process click here: Idea Protection - Patent Application...

Other forms of protection for your idea

Protecting your new idea can be obtained by applying for a patent, registering the design, acquiring copyright or potentially even a trademark. The best method of protection depends on the individual idea: Innovate Design offers a free review of your idea which will help determine the most appropriate form of idea protection.

To read more about this review and how to submit your idea click here: Free Idea Review

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© Innovate Design 2011 | Advice about Patenting - Why Patent, How Much a Patent Costs, How to Apply for a Patent