If you hold Intellectual property within your business, it is vital to adequately protect it. One of the areas that you may need to consider is that of applying for a patent if your business has an idea or an invention.
According to gov.uk having a patent in place ‘gives you the right to take legal action against anyone who makes, uses, sells or imports it without your permission.’
You can check what you can patent on the gov.uk website as not everything can be afforded this type of protection.
If your invention does meet the criteria which mean you can patent it, then you will need to complete a patent application. The process to obtain a patent can be difficult and can cost your business a significant amount of money so you need to be sure that a patent is the right solution before starting.
How to write a patent application
You can find full details of the patent application on the gov.uk website. There are 4 parts to the application, and you will need to meet specific criteria for each.
If you are writing your patent application yourself then you can refer to the patent factsheets produced by the Intellectual Property Office for information which will assist you with writing your application.
However, because the process is so complicated it is thought that only 1 in 20 successfully obtain a patent without any professional help. So, if you are looking to apply for a patent you may instead want to work with a patent lawyer/solicitor or a patent advisor who will be able to help you write your patent application.
How much does a patent application cost?
Costs can be high for completing a patent application. If you work with a patent lawyer/solicitor or advisor, then it is generally thought it will cost around £4,000 for your application.
You will also incur additional costs as you will need to renew your patent. You will first need to renew your patent on the fourth anniversary of when you filed for it, and you can renew it for a maximum of 20 years. The costs associated with renewing your patent increase every year.
How long does the patent application process take?
As it is so complicated the patent application process takes a long time. You may be looking at up to 5 years to complete the application and obtain a patent.
What are the alternatives to a patent to protect your intellectual property?
There are other types of protection that can be used when it comes to intellectual property. Which is right for you will depend on your business and the intellectual property that you hold.
It will be important to do your research to enable you to decide which is the right protection for your intellectual property.
Other types of protection include
- Design rights
- Non-disclosure agreements
What value can intellectual property insurance bring to your business?
Intellectual property insurance is designed to provide indemnity for losses and costs incurred because of an intellectual property infringement.
Equally, it can also be a deterrent to those who think that your business may not have the resources to pursue an infringement claim.
Intellectual property insurance can cover a wide range of areas from defence of a claim against you through to pursuit, business interruption and insurance that can be purchased after the event. Read our guide to the different types of intellectual property insurance which are available to find out about the cover that your business may benefit from.
If your business derives significant value from your intellectual property then taking the extra steps to protect your intellectual property with the relevant insurance is likely to be something you should consider.
If you have any questions about Intellectual property insurance or your small businesses needs don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we are always happy to help. Call us on 020 8290 9080 or alternatively email us at email@example.com