Patent Filing in the United Kingdom: An Overview


Nowadays, anyone can create and release items because technology and communication channels are so widely available. The capacity for creating and distributing copies from the original has also grown. To overcome form this problem companies file Patent, Trademark and Copyright to get protection for their intellectual right. Patent is one of the type of intellectual property right that protect inventions which can be useful to solve technical problem like a new drug treatment, expedient tool, or improve engine. As there is a rapid growth of new innovation and technology, the registrations of patent for that products or services is also increasing. United Kingdom is one of the highest growing market for patent registration. They are holding 14th position is highest patent filing in the world. Filing for patent is important but the process of protection get complete when the patent is granted. Granted patents are valuable assets because they can be used to restrict rivals from commercially exploiting any invention they cover for a basic period of 20 years, provided that the payments to maintain the patent "in force" are paid and the patent right is not successfully contested and overturned.

What can you patent in United Kingdom?

The patent filing in United Kingdom is governed under UK Patent Act 1977 under this act there are some specified legal criteria that must be met for an invention to be patentable. The most criteria are: -

  • Industrial application

An invention must be able to be produced or employed in any industry for it to be considered to have industrial applicability. In reality, this is a low hurdle, but passing the other two requirements for patentability is a stricter test that is measured against the "state of the art" (any pertinent technical disclosures that are already in existence) prior to the filing of a patent application.

  • Novelty

A similar invention must not have been "disclosed" in a single source prior to the patent filing date in order for an invention to qualify as novel. Disclosure can take many different forms, although it usually occurs in writing (in the form of a webpage or a print article), however verbal disclosures can also be important.

  • Inventiveness

Minor variations might be sufficient to distinguish an innovation from others and make it original, but they do not guarantee that it will be inventive. It must not be "obvious to a person knowledgeable in the art" for an invention to meet this condition. This "talented individual" is a legal fiction that has a high level of technical proficiency but no creative ability. In order to attempt to address technological issues, the knowledgeable individual can read, mix lessons from several state-of-the-art disclosures, and follow simple instructions.

What can you not patent in United Kingdom?

The Patent Act outlines specific subject matter that cannot be covered by a patent in addition to outlining the requirements by which an invention may be patented. This comprises:

• discoveries, scientific theories or mathematical methods

• purely aesthetic creations, such as literary, music or artistic works

• schemes for performing a mental act or doing business, or games

• the presentation of information.

Who can apply for a patent in United Kingdom?

In United Kingdom, anyone may file for a patent either directly or through an agency. The applicant may be a natural person or a juristic person.

How do you apply for a patent in the United Kingdom?

• Drafting a patent specification is the first step in the UK patent application process. This is a legal document that verbatim "claims" the use of a specific invention.

• A finished patent specification may be submitted to the UK Intellectual Property Office. Although there are currently no restrictions on who can submit patent applications to the office, it is typically advisable to delegate filing to the patent attorney who was hired to create the specification in order to avoid any procedural blunders.

• The UK Intellectual Property Office will accept patent specifications once they are finished. Currently, there are no restrictions on who can submit patent applications to the office, although if a patent attorney was hired to design the specification, it is usually a good idea to leave filing to them to avoid any formal blunders.

• A first file may be prosecuted on its own after it has been made. However, it's more frequently used as a "priority filing" to hold its filing date for additional UK (or foreign) patent applications submitted within a year. The first application will typically be abandoned if being utilised for the latter and replaced with a later-filed counterpart because this tactic effectively postpones the expiration of any eventual patent by up to a year.

Necessary steps to be completed before grant for patent can be secured. They are: -

• Requesting a search, which entails asking a patent examiner to search for disclosures that are current in the field and relate to the claimed invention.

• A review in which the patentability of the invention is evaluated in comparison to prior art discovered during the search

The Intellectual Property Office may raise valid arguments during examination to the effect that a patent application's claims are invalid, for instance because the invention they describe lacks novelty or an inventive step. In this situation, it could be conceivable to challenge the Examiner's assessment or (in a restricted way) change the patent's scope of protection to make it more palatable. Once more, a skilled patent lawyer can advise on the tactics and justifications that have the best chance of resulting in a patent award that furthers a client's objectives.

How much does it cost to apply for a patent?

The price of writing a patent varies widely depending on the patent attorney and the difficulty of the subject matter. A initial patent application, however, usually costs between £2,000 and £6,000. While this may appear pricey, patents that cover widely used ideas can frequently be worth millions or even billions of pounds, and since drafting errors are frequently corrected and deadly, it is typically a smart investment.

Patent Filing in UK[Image Sources : Shutterstock]

In addition, the Intellectual Property Office will require a number of fees. These presently amount to a minimum of £310 (£60 for the application, £150 for the search, and £100 for the inspection), with additional recurring payments of between £70 and £610 required if you want to renew your patent. If a patent attorney is needed for aid in responding to any examination reports brought up during prosecution, there can be additional fees.

How long does it take to get a patent?

The procedure of getting a UK patent awarded is rather drawn out. In accordance with the Patent Act, all patent applications must be "in-order" (fit for grant) within four and a half years after the application's filing date; nevertheless, grants are often made sooner than that, typically two or three years after the application's submission. It should be noted that there is a minimum prosecution time as a norm because UK patent applications typically publish 18 months from their first filing date and will not be awarded until at least three months after publication.

Author : Sarthak Kumar Baral, in case of any query, contact us at Global Patent Filing or write back us via email at






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