Patent Attorney & Solicitors

To speak to a solicitor about starting a patent application or for more information on this type of intellectual property, contact our team of intellectual property solicitors today. Call 0333 323 5292 or fill in the enquiry form on this page and let us know a time you are available for us to get in touch with you.

What are patents?

Patents are rights that can be registered for products or processes that are capable of being exploited industrially, are new and show a genuine inventive step. Ways of doing business, games, scientific or mathematical theories, creative works protected by copyright or merely intellectual constructs are not protected by patents, while software is only patentable when it has what is referred to as a genuine technical effect – a concept that’s easier to discuss with you than summarise accurately here.

Patents are registered on a territorial basis in each of the world’s developed economies, and so a worldwide protection process can be a complex and expensive exercise.

A patent in a product invention is infringed if someone makes that product using the invention even if it is not a copy or trades in it; a patent in a process is infringed if someone uses that process or trades in a product resulting from the process.

We can work with you and our partners to look for the most cost-effective solution. If patent protection is possible, it should always be considered very carefully, as the rewards can be immense: an effective 20-year monopoly dating from the date of application in the use of the patented invention.

The team

The cost, importance and value of patents mean that this is an area of law where the stakes are high, and so is the need for expert advice at every turn. Our team can advise on all aspects of protection and enforcement of patents, including the highly specialised area of patent litigation. The team has conducted numerous enforcement disputes both before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (formerly the Patents County Court) and in the High Court.

With over 50 years’ combined experience in intellectual property and recognition in major independent guides to the legal profession Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500, you can rest assured that your business is in good hands.

The Process

If an invention is to be patented, it must be genuinely novel, which also means the invention must not have been disclosed before the application is made. Disclosure in confidence (e.g. with an NDA) or in breach of confidence often does not count as disclosure for this purpose. Filing a patent application before any kind of disclosure is the only safe option. If some disclosure has taken place, all may not be lost, but time is usually ‘of the essence’ to try to protect the innovation.

If it has already been disclosed or released in public, even on a trial basis, without confidentiality obligations being put in place to cover anyone who might be party to the disclosure or release, the chance to obtain a patent can be lost. Once the patent application has been made to the appropriate registry, that danger is over, and the invention can be exploited while the application goes forward, hence the familiar phrase “patent pending”.

Once granted, a patent can have a huge value in itself, as well as offering comfort to funders and investors as to the security of the owner as an organisation and the value of the product or process it protects. Revenue can be made from exploiting the patent in a number of ways, including by licensing.

Relevant publications by team members

Valuation and Exploitation of Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets, by John Sykes, co-author. (Emis).

Getting in Touch

It is important that you seek legal assistance on patents whether you have some experience in intellectual property law or not, so you can ensure that you are given the most up-to-date and accurate advice before making any important decisions.

To speak to us about patenting a product or process, contact John Sykes or Clive Lawrence at Lupton Fawcett using the details on the enquiry form. With offices in Leeds, Sheffield and York, we are able to provide assistance to many individuals and businesses across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK.

Why Choose Lupton Fawcett?

Having advised and supported many local families, individuals and businesses, we are proud to offer clients a dedicated service from specialist solicitors who are experts in their field:

We're Award Winning

We were awarded the Legal 500 HR/Employment Law team of the year in 2017

We're Connected

We're connected to the people, businesses and infrastructure throughout Yorkshire

We Put You First

You can be sure to expect superb client service from us. Our clients are our priority

We're accredited

Recognised by leading Legal Directories Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the trade mark notice ™ on my marketing and advertising materials and packaging even if I have not registered my brands?

Yes.  The trade mark notice ™ indicates that your brand, whether it is a word, series of words, symbol or logo is being used by you as a trade mark and you should use the trade mark notice to maximise your protection.

If I apply for a Community Trade Mark and there is a problem in one country which means that I cannot or do not want to proceed in that country can I still get a registration for the rest of the EU?

No. A Community Trade Mark application is for all or nothing. If you have a problem in one or more member state of the EU you will lose the application and will need to start again by applying in each member state in which you want protection.

If I have sold my branded goods in the EU can I stop them from being resold by one of my customers via particular distribution channels such as discount shops or on eBay?

It depends! Generally it is not possible to prevent how your products are dealt with once they are sold in the EU. If you can show that you have a valid reason for managing your distribution channels and have in place an active distribution channels policy then it may be possible. This is a complicated area of the law and it may be worth you having a conversation with one of our lawyers to explore your options.

If I have already sold my product can I still apply for registered design protection?

Yes you have 12 months from the first sale or marketing of a new product to get registered design protection.

If I have no registered design protection and a competitor is copying my designs can I stop them?

You may be able to stop them if your design is less than 10 years old and is not a commonplace design. This is a complicated area of law and requires careful consideration. John Sykes has just updated his reference book for lawyers on Design Law and John, or one of the team would be happy to advise you.

Be careful because making a threat to a competitor may be grounds for the competitor to bring proceedings against you for “groundless threats”. A threat would include making a complaint to eBay or Amazon to take your competitor’s products off sale.

I have shown my invention to my friends in the pub and they think I should get patent protection for it. Can I get a patent?

Not unless:

  • your friends were bound by terms of confidentiality because you cannot get patent protection for an invention which has been disclosed AND
  • your invention is new AND
  • your invention is capable of industrial application

If you want to show your ideas to third parties whether friends or potential customers or manufacturers you MUST HAVE A CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT in place.  If the answers to the above questions are all “yes” then speak to us about getting patent protection.

I told my friend to keep my idea for an invention secret. I think he is working on building a business to exploit it. Can I stop him?

Only if you have a patent application in place which successfully proceeds to grant or he has copied an original material work you created or own. So, for example, if you built a prototype or created drawings of your invention and your friend has copied these.

You could issue proceedings for breach of confidence but this is a difficult claim to bring if there is only your word against his and he may not be “good for the money” and/or you do not want to spend the monies required on legal action to get an injunction and any other legal remedies to which you may be entitled.

Get In Touch Today!

Get In Touch Today!

Please complete this form to make an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Remember you can still call us on 0333 323 5292 or email us at law@luptonfawcett.law

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