Patent2018-07-31T12:47:36+00:00

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Obtaining a patent for your invention means a lot of time, effort and money. It is difficult, it takes a long time and it is expensive.  So make sure it’s worth it before you start your trip on this road.

Is it really new and inventive? Don’t waste your money and time trying to get a patent for something that is already on the market. Before filing your application search thoroughly the Internet, patent publications, booklets and catalogs in your field, turn every rock that you think needs to be turned to be sure there is nothing out here resembling your invention.

So it’s new. And inventive. And unique. But is it really worth it? Studies show that 50% of the financial value of all patents lie in 1% of the patents or less. So don’t invest in your invention until you are sure it will bring you some money afterwards. But be careful when you research your market and try to evaluate the potential of your invention not to disclose too many information about your invention. Otherwise you might not be able to obtain your patent at all.

And if it is new and it is valuable, you need to consult a professional IP advisory or a patent attorney before filing your application, or even hire one to do this for you, because you want to make sure your application is correct and complete so that:

  • You increase your chances of obtaining the patent
  • You will have a patent that will efficiently protect your invention

Because once you have received your patent certificate, IPO’s work is done. It is up to you to renew your patent every year in order to keep it alive and to protect it against any infringement.

Also, receiving your patent does not mean it is yours forever. Sometimes, after the patent has been granted, new information surface showing that the invention was already known, thus being considered prior art and the patent becoming invalid.

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 Together (eur)
including Fees and Tax
USA 2500 GBP
USA provisional 1800 GBP
EU 3300 GBP
Japan 2600 GBP + translations
International 4500 GBP + translations
Research
USA 1200 GBP
EU 2000 GBP
International 2700 GBP
Patent
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Other ways of protecting your invention

Being granted an invention patent is a long, complicated and expensive process. And this is just the summary on what you might not want or, actually need, an invention patent. Because while invention patent might sound attractive and glamorous, there are other types of protection from the category of Intellectual Property (IP) that might be more suitable for your projects (trademarks, trade secrets, copyright and design rights).

Patents are without a doubt the most difficult form of Intellectual Property protection out there. You can actually wait for several years before receiving your patent. Meanwhile, your application is being published after 18 months from the date when you filed it, thus exposing your idea to the risk of being protected by someone else in another way.

For example, if your idea is connected to a new product, you can bring it faster and safer to the market under the protection of a trademark which is easier to obtain.

Then, there is the matter of the cost. A patent for your invention can be a very expensive investment and if your idea proves to be less attractive on the market than you thought it would be, you just might be wasting a lot of time, money and effort. Make sure you have carefully evaluated the potential of your idea before choosing such an expensive type of legal protection.

For innovative elements that are considered to be rather aesthetic in nature than associated with the utility or functionality of the product, you can choose to apply for a registered design which will be more appropriate than a patent. As for the protection that a registered design is offering, persons or companies infringing on your rights obtained by a registered design are facing a fine and up to ten years in prison.

Another way to protect your invention, even if it meets the requirements for a patent, is to use a confidentiality agreement to protect its secret. Confidentiality agreements are efficient in the following situations:

– Your invention is difficult to reverse engineer

– You predict that your product will have a short life on the market

In the last situation you can combine the advantages and the protection offered by the confidentiality agreement with an aggressive branding and advertising strategy which will ensure your success on the market long before anyone else will succeed in copying your product.

The advantage of the confidentiality agreements or trade secrecy is that is valid as long as the information needs to remain confidential. Patents on the other hand have a limited monopoly term.

Do I need an IP professional?

Whether you decide to go for a patent or another way of protecting your invention, the decisions you need to make are important, complex and will affect you and your company for a long time. So, yes, we recommend that you at least consult a professional IP advisor, especially if you decide to apply for a patent. In this case the documentation is complex and it needs to be completed correctly because you cannot make modifications along the way. A professional IP advisor will help you make sure that your documents are filed in properly, all the fees are paid on time, all the documents are filed on time and that you have the best chances to get your patent. Generally, people apply for a patent for inventions that are valuable to them and which represent years of work. If any mistakes are made when filing for patent, the application will be terminated and all the process needs to start again. An invention patent is usually an investment for long term in a valuable project that is intended to generate income, so it needs to be treated very seriously and professionally. Yes, a professional IP advisor or a patent attorney means more money, but it means money invested in increasing the chances of being granted a useful patent for your invention. Generally, legal advisor will offer you a free consultation to discuss your project and make sure he or she is the right person for the job. You can locate an attorney in your area with the help of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) or you can attend a free 30 minute IP clinic where you can meet with a patent attorney and an IPO examiner and you can discuss any IP related questions you might have.

Who typically seeks this protection?Copyright: Copyright protection is usually used by creative professionals such as artists, choreographs, authors, architects and so on.

Trademark: Trademark protection is usually used by businesses and product owners.

Utility patent: Generally a utility patent is used by inventors.

Design Patent: Design patents are usually used by inventors and designers.
What does it protect?Copyright: Copyright protection covers original works of authorship fixed in a tangible form, such as books, sound recordings, sculptures, architectural works, articles, songs, etc. It is important to note that an idea by itself cannot be protected by copyright if it doesn’t take a tangible form.

Trademark:
A trademark will protect any text or graphic element used to identify and distinguish a brand or a business (e.g. word, slogan, name, symbol, design).

Utility patent: Utility patents are used to protect inventions that bring something new or improve the way something works (e.g. a machine, a process, a chemical composition).

Design Patent: A design patent will offer protection for any ornamental design of an article of manufacture if the design does not directly influence the article's function.
What benefits does registration/filing include?Copyright: By registering your creation for copyright you obtain legal evidence and public notice of your ownership. You can also bring suit in federal court if someone else is using your creation without your approval.

Trademark: Registering your trademark offers you nationwide exclusive rights, provides you legal evidence, public notice of ownership, gives you the right to bring federal lawsuit in case of infringement and to use the ® symbol.

Utility patent: A utility patent gives exclusive rights of use to its owner meaning that others don’t have the right to make, use, sell, or import the protected invention. Without a utility patent, the creator does not benefit from any form of protection.

Design Patent: A utility patent gives exclusive rights of use to its owner meaning that others don’t have the right to make, use, sell, or import the protected invention. Without a utility patent, the creator does not benefit from any form of protection.
How long does it last?Copyright: Registering a copyright offers your protection for the entire duration of your life and an additional 70 years. It cannot be renewed nor extended.

Trademark: Technically, it is unlimited with the condition of being renewed every 10 years and to make sure the mark is in continue use.

Utility patent: You can file for two types of utility patents: a provisional patent which is easier and cheaper to obtain, lasts for 1 year and offers the possibility of testing the invention on the market while being protected and a full non-provisional utility patent which lasts for 20 years.

Design Patent:
The protection offered by a design patent is for 14 years and cannot be renewed.
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