Filing a Patent
Written by Micahel Coyle on 12 June 2012« Return to Reading Room
We are often asked about filing patents. This office and our agents (depending on the nature of the invention) will be happy to assist.
We often ask you to complete a disclosure form which asks you to set out your invention. If you wish us to email you a disclosure form please email email@example.com with 'Request for Disclosure Form' in the subject header.
Once we have your information we will prepare the patent for you for a fee in the region of £2,500 to £5,500 +VAT dependant on complexity, for drafting a specification, filing a GB application, and requesting search and examination. The only other significant expense before UK grant is to reply to the examination, which typically corresponds to approximately £750 -£1,500 +VAT.
Patent protection is an expensive business on account of the value of the monopolies that you aim to obtain, so if it is likely that a patent application will fail, or a granted patent might be invalidated or easily 'worked around' a lot of money may be wasted.
Once you have approved the draft and it has been filed at the UK IPO, you have a filing date. A filing date starts the clock ticking as well as affording some protection. If you proceed and obtain grant of a patent you may be able to retrospectively claim against infringers from the priority date. Within 12 months you would need to decide on international protection, and if you then file an International ('PCT') application, you have another 18+ months to decide which countries/regions to file in.
The typical costs are approximately as follows:
- £3,000 (+VAT) to file an application at the USPTO (US Patents and Trademarks Office);
- £5,000(+VAT) for filing an application for an EP patent (European); and
- £6,000 (+VAT) for filing a PCT (international application). This would increase greatly depending on the number of states you later decide to extend protection to (within 30+ months).
It will probably take around three years for a patent to grant in the UK, but protection will date from filing. A granted GB patent will give you a 20 year monopoly recourse against others making, disposing of, offering to dispose of, using or importing products that infringe your patent, but only in the UK.
But as I explain above you have 12 months from filing to review the potential of the device, find investors, and decide whether you want to extend internationally either by country/regional office or through a PCT to provide another 18 months to decide on country/regional offices.
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