Patents protect inventions. The range of subject matter which could be protected by a Patent is broad and includes products, processes, materials and even computer implemented inventions.
A Patent is an exclusive right that gives the Patent holder the power to stop or prevent anyone from making, using or importing an invention encompassed by that Patent without their permission in the relevant jurisdiction in which the Patent is in force.
Generally, the criteria for “Patentability” is that an invention:-
- must be new;
- it must involve an "inventive step"
- it must be applicable to industry (industry here includes agriculture), and
- it must not comprise of subject matter that is excluded.
Also it is important to ensure that the invention must not have been disclosed prior to filing an application for a patent, as this could destroy novelty. Novelty in this instance must not be interpreted to mean the 'invention' is entirely new and groundbreaking. Instead improvements (even minor ones) of existing technology can be patented, especially if that improvement improves performance or leads to a longer life in the technology.
To apply for or a Patent, a Patent application must be filed. This involves drafting a Patent Specification that is subsequently
lodged with the relevant Patent Office. This Specification will include a detailed written description of the invention, including claims , an abstract
and drawings illustrating all the essential and novel aspects of the invention, and any variations. This description must be sufficient to enable a
skilled person who is familiar with the specific field of technology of the invention to replicate the invention or perform its method, without referring
too much to other sources of information, other than the specification itself. This means that it is important when making patent applications for the specification to be self standing.
Patent drafting is a specialised skill that is perfected with knowledge and experience over many years in practice and it has been known for even experienced practitioners to sometimes get it wrong. For this reason, it is never recommended for any individual without substantial drafting experience to attempt to do it alone without seeking professional advice.
In the UK, any person can act before the UK Intellectual Property Office, and its not mandatory to use a Registered Patent Attorney, but the titles "Patent Attorney" (which is synonymous with "Patent Agent") and "Registered Patent Attorney" (which is synonymous with "Registered Patent Agent") are reserved terms for those duly qualified.
We are technically qualified to advise on the patentability of subject matter relating to, but not limited to Electronics, Physics, Computer Implemented inventions, Mechanical devices, Medical devices and other fields.
Additionally, we can handle UK Patent Applications filed at the UK Intellectual Property Office or using the Patent Cooperation Treaty route (see more information here). Furthermore, through a network of foreign associates we can also file and process Patent applications to protect your inventions in Europe (at the European Patent Office) and in the US, Australia, Japan, China, Canada and in other countries around the world.
Furthermore, we also offer advice in dealing with allegations or threats of patent Infringement and can work to assist you negotiate a reasonable settlement with another party in a dispute, but if necessary, we may instruct a Solicitor to commence legal proceedings on your behalf.
A granted UK patent will only give you protection in the UK. If you require protection outside the UK you should probably consider patent protection in other jurisdictions.
You can contact us with any questions regarding how to apply for a patent, the procedure to grant, self filed patent applications, Patent licensing, technology transfer, What to know before you approach the patent office and when to use the services of a patent attorney.
Computer Implemented inventions
may be patentable in certain
instances although computer
programs as such are excluded.
Medical Equipment may be
patentable, but methods of
treatment or diagnosis
on the human body are