Patenting an idea is essential for protecting your intellectual property and preventing others from stealing or profiting from your invention without consent. A patent provides exclusive rights to a design, meaning you can control who can use, make, or sell it.
D2M helps clients confidently navigate the process, offering guidance from choosing the right attorney to producing accurate patent drawings. Follow the steps outlined in this guide and work with our design experts to ensure your idea is protected and has the best chance of commercial success.
Steps to Patenting Your Idea in the UK
Minimise delays and ensure a smooth patenting process with this step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Conduct a Patent Search
To ensure your idea is eligible for a patent, it’s crucial to conduct a patent search before filing your application. This process involves checking whether your invention is novel and inventive and whether it meets the criteria for patentability. By conducting a patent search, you can determine whether your idea has already been patented and identify any potential obstacles to obtaining a patent.
The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) website has a database of UK patents and patent applications you can use to conduct your search. Google patents is a useful database as is “espacenet”. You can also use a professional search firm or a patent attorney to help you with this process.
Step 2: Determine Patentability
Once you have conducted a patent search, you will need to determine whether your invention meets the criteria for patentability. In the UK, an invention must be new, inventive and capable of industrial application to be eligible for a patent.
Your invention must also not fall within one of the excluded categories, such as scientific theories, methods of medical treatment and mathematical methods. Seek advice from a patent attorney if you are unsure whether an invention is patentable. Most attorneys will offer a free half hour consultation.
Step 3: Prepare and File a Patent Application
If your invention is patentable, proceed with filing a patent application. A patent application is a legal document that describes your design in detail and sets out the scope of your patent protection. Getting the wording right in your application is important, as this will determine the strength of your patent protection.
File a patent application online or post with the UK IPO. You will also need to pay a fee upon submission.
Step 4: Patent Examination
The UK IPO examines applications upon filing. The process can take several months or even years, wherein the department checks if your invention meets patent requirements. They will also check that your invention is new and inventive and that the description supports the claims in your application.
If the examiner has any objections or questions, they will issue a report and give you a chance to respond. Be sure to promptly address the concerns as it demonstrates your commitment to securing approval.
Step 5: Grant and Renewal
Successful applications are granted a patent, giving them legal rights to the invention. A patent is valid for 20 years from the application’s filing date, provided that you pay the renewal fees. You must renew your patent every year to maintain your patent protection.
The D2M Solution
Choose D2M for our expertise in product design, drawing services and experience in helping start-ups and SMEs achieve commercial success. Our team of talented product and soft goods designers will bring creativity and knowledge to every project. You can expect excellent communication, rapid delivery of stages and complete transparency as standard. We work alongside Chartered Patent Attorneys who share our values to help protect our clients ideas.
Consultation – D2M offers consultancy services to inventors and businesses. We help them understand the patent application process, find patentable ideas and evaluate their patentability.
Patent Application – Our partner chartered patent lawyers can work with you to prepare and file patent applications for your inventions in the UK and other countries.
Patent Strategy – We can help you develop a patent strategy that includes identifying the most valuable patents to file, evaluating the strength of your inventions and assessing the competition.
Patent Search – Save time and money in the long run. Our partners will conduct a thorough patent search, ensuring your design or invention is unique and meets set standards.
Patent Renewal – Trust one of our trusted Chartered Patent Attorneys partners to manage the patent renewal process on your behalf. They’ll ensure your patent remains enforceable and that you meet crucial deadlines.
Don’t Let Your Ideas Go to Waste – Protect your ideas from infringement. Contact us today to see how our patent attorneys partners can help you navigate the patent process.