The Patent Process Explained
Steps involved in patenting your idea
The patent process often starts with a global patent search to establish what has been patented already. After the results have been collated a patent application can be filed with the UK IPO (also known as the Patent Office.) However this is not the end of the patent process.
Your case for patenting may have to be argued with the patent examiner and then hopefully, your patent will be granted. Once you have a granted patent, fees become payable and you need to decide if you want to extend your patent out to other countries. At this stage it can get expensive.
These are steps involved in the patent process:
- Conduct a global patent search - some people choose to skip this step. However a search often means your patent is more likely to be granted. This section explains why: Patent Searches
- Draft a Patent Application - this can be done by a Patent Agent or you can self file your patent application. This section explains the two options: Patenting your Idea
- File your application with the UK IPO (Patent Office) - this can be done online or by posting a completed copy of Form 1 to the UK IPO. For more info refer to this section: Filing a Patent
- Complete your Application - you now have 12 months to complete your application by sending in the application fee (£30 if filing by post, £20 if filing online) and search fee (£150), Form 9A as well any missing information you didn't originally file.
- Novelty Search - The UK IPO completes a novelty search and sends you a search report for you to respond to. (This is no substitute for a global patent search prior to application.)
- Patent Publication - 18 months after filing, the UK IPO publishes your patent application in the weekly Patents and Designs Journal.
- Substantive Examination - Within 6 months of publication you must apply for a substantive examination by completing Form 10 and sending in the fees (£100). You may need to respond to the patent examiners questions regarding the application. This process can continue for 4-5 years.
- Patent Granted - Once your application complies with all the requirements your patent is granted.
Within 12 months of your filing date you need to decide what other countries you wish to include in your patent protection. This is covered in a different section: International Patent Filing
How to apply for a patent
This section tells you everything you need to know about completing a Patent Application includes info on: writing a description, claims and abstract and completing patent drawings.
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