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Patents protect technology and inventions and can be a very valuable part of your IP portfolio.

To be granted a patent, your invention must be all of the following:

  • something that can be made or used;
  • new; and
  • inventive – not just a simple modification to something that already exists.

Patents are territorial which means that you have to apply for protection in all of your key trading territories. This can be expensive and careful thought needs to go into your patenting strategy.

In applying for a patent, you must disclose your intention to the public. This is not always something that is right for your business – it may be better to keep the technology confidential and protect it through the use of contracts.

We are not patent attorneys, so we do not draft or file patents. However, we can licence them, exploit them and protect them for you and we have worked very closely with lots of patent attorneys and can help you find the right attorney for your particular invention.

How we can help with your patents

  • Patent audit – understanding your patentable inventions.
  • Patent strategy – deciding on the best way (in terms of budget and territory) to file your patents.
  • Conducting patent clearance and freedom to operate searches.
  • Enforcing your patent rights.
  • Entering into exploitation agreements.

Patents frequently asked questions

Why should I register?

Registering your patent makes it much easier to take action against anyone who uses it without permission. Registering means that your patent is your property, so you can sell it, let others have a license to use it and derive income from it, or use it as collateral to raise money.

What should I register?

Your patent attorney will be able to help you, but you should remember that whatever you register is disclosed to the general public – so you may only wish to patent a small part of your invention and keep the rest confidential.

Where should I register?

Patent registrations are territorial, so it is important that you obtain protection in the key territories in which you trade.

How long does it take?

This will depend! It will depend on whether your invention is entirely new and novel, or is a design around existing technology. It will depend on the state of prior art and whether or not the examiners raise any objections.

Introducing your key contact

Laura Trapnell
Partner – Intellectual Property and Commercial

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