Handsome IP Patent and Trademark Attorneys

UK PATENT AND TRADEMARK ATTORNEYS WITH OFFICES IN BATH, GLOUCESTER, EXETER AND LONDON

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New Processes

If you have developed a new process, or had an idea for a new method of doing something, you may be able to protect your invention, either by obtaining patent protection, or by keeping it secret. We can advise on the best course of action for your particular circumstances.

Patents

A patent gives its owner the right to prevent others from using their idea commercially, such as by making or importing a patented product, or using a patented process. A patent must be applied for before the invention is made public. In any event, to be valid, the invention must be:

  1. 'new' - even very small differences count, but your idea must be kept confidential before filing a Patent application; and
  2. 'inventive' - one way of getting a feel for whether something is inventive is whether the thing that makes it 'new' provides any technical advantage; however, we recommend that you contact us if you are unsure.
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Patents are territorial rights. A UK Patent only provides protection in the UK, a French Patent only provides protection in France, and so on. However, it is possible to have an International Patent Application. This is an application only; at some point, individual national Patent applications must be made, based on the International Patent Application, in order to obtain granted Patents.

It is also possible to file a European Patent application. This is effectively a 'bundle' of national rights that, once granted, must be 'validated' in each country in which you desire protection. This system can be considerably cheaper than applying for each national Patent on an individual basis.

We can handle all of these kinds of Patent & Patent application and, via our extensive network of overseas attorneys, we can manage your portfolios of foreign patent rights at very reasonable prices.

Typical* life of a UK patent application

  • 0 months: The Patent Specification is drafted, and the Patent Application is filed at the UK Patent Office.
  • 4 - 6 months: The Patent Office issue a Search Report. The documents that are found in the Search Report will form the basis of their Examination.
  • 18 months: The Application is Published.
  • 2-3 years: The Patent Office Examine the Application. If they do not pass the application for grant immediately, we have the opportunity to submit arguments and/or amendments to the Specification before the application is refused.
  • 2-4 years: The Application is either Granted or Refused.

* - The total time can take several years; however, in certain circumstances (such as for "Green" inventions), the Application can be accelerated and granted within 1 year.

We require payment in advance for preparing and filing a patent application. Official fees may be payable at certain points throughout the procedure, deptending on the strategy that is being used. In addition, if you would like us to review search results and/or provide our opinon on how best to respond to Examination Reports, there will be an additional charge.

Ten reasons to use patents:-

  1. COPYING – Stop others from copying your invention/product.
  2. BUSINESS ASSET - It’s an asset to your business, which looks good for investors and banks, and when you come to sell.
  3. LICENSING – You can allow others to make or sell your invention product and charge them royalties.
  4. REDUCE YOUR CORPORATION TAX – The new “Patent Box” tax relief scheme from the government allows you to reduce your corporation tax liability to only 10% (from 20%) on the profits made from selling your patented invention/product.
  5. PROVIDES IMMEDIATE PROTECTION - as soon as the patent application is lodged at the Patent Office you can talk about your invention.
  6. MARKETING – Buyers and end-consumers like patented products.
  7. DETERRENT – It prevents many competitors from even considering copying your invention/product.
  8. PATENT PENDING – The words “patent pending” together with an official number can be used on the product/literature/website/packaging, etc...
  9. STOP IMPORTATION INTO UK – A UK patent can be used to stop importation into the UK.
  10. COMMERCIAL ASSET - A patent can be sold or mortgaged.

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Know-How & Trade Secrets

Chemistry

If you have information which cannot be protected in other ways (for instance, because it is not patentable), then it may be protectable as a trade secret. For example, you may have an improved method of doing something which would be of interest to someone else because it saves them the time and cost of R&D. Know-how and trade secrets may be licenced, just like any other form of Intellectual Property.

Please contact us if you would like some advice on your specific circumstances.


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