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 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.
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.