The Patent Office says a patented product is a new invention that covers how things work and what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made.
Essentially a patent is a new invention that you use in, or is created by, industrial production.
Patents involve a highly specialised area of law. You may be reading this article because you believe you have a new idea or because somebody has accused you of copying their patent. Either way you will need to take specialist advice. We give helpful initial guidance over the phone. Just call, you will have no obligation to take things beyond this conversation.
The following are important matters to consider:
- A patent is immediately invalidated if the product or idea is published. You must take extreme care not to publish your idea if you want a patent. Publication includes allowing your product to be viewed by the general public even if it is on the back of a lorry.
- Patents can give you up to twenty five years protection but can take more than two years to obtain and they are very expensive to maintain around the world.
- An initial patent application is not prohibitively expensive and therefore you may choose to lodge a patent application whilst you consider the viability of your new idea. When a patent application is made but has not been granted then your patent is deemed pending.
- Patents seem very complicated documents but in fact they are easy to read. The content of a patent is likely to be explained most clearly in the first paragraph under the heading “claims”. Read this paragraph literally and you will have a good understanding of what the patent covers and does not cover.
- The reason why patents appear complicated is because they are interpreted very strictly by courts. If the words don’t describe precisely what the invention is and precisely what the alleged infringer is said to be doing, then there will be no infringement. Patents can be exciting, they can be extremely valuable and they can be bought and sold.
- Unless you apply for a patent you will have no protection for your new invention, once it is published.
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