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Inventions & Inventors

What Is The Key
If you think you have a new product or process, you may want to protect it with a patent. This gives you the right to prevent anyone from making, using, selling or importing your invention for up to 20 years.  

(1)   Before filing an application the invention must be kept secret: non-confidential disclosures can harm a later application.

(2)  A search in a patent database can help your R&D, avoid repeated effort and identify potential partners.

(3)  The Patent Office’s fees to obtain an initial application to grant (typically 2-4 years) are just £200.  The advice of a patent attorney will be several times this amount, but could prove invaluable in securing the strongest protection possible for your invention.  Your application must describe your invention and its operation clearly and completely.

(4)  If you want protection in overseas markets you will need to make patent applications for these within one year of your UK filing date. You may have to use patent attorneys for these countries as well.

(5)  Your UK patent application is usually published by the Patent Office 18 months after your initial application, so everyone can read your invention’s secrets.

(6)  If the Patent Office believes your invention is novel and inventive, and grants a patent for it, your patent could become a useful tool for striking a licensing deal or attracting investment.

For advice and events about protecting your inventions and conducting patent searches see the new website What is the Key? from the Patent Office, Chartered Institute of Patent Agents and Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys at www.the-key.biz .

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