Patenting Products and Idea Protection

Patenting Products and Idea Protection

When you create something that’s unique and useful, it is within you best interest to seek a patent for your creation. Seeking a patent gives you exclusive rights to the use of your creation, offering you legal protection and prohibiting unauthorized use. The following reviews the basic process for protecting your ideas:

Understanding Intellectual Property and What You Can Patent

The first step in protecting your idea is to understand which creations you are legally allowed to seek a patent for. Intellectual property is defined as something that is entirely unique that you physically create; an idea alone is not intellectual property, and is therefore not patentable. Under UK law, you can seek a patent for intellectual property if your invention is:

  • Something that can be manufactured and used;
  • Something original and new; and
  • Something that is inventive rather than a modification or improvement to something already existing.


Other types of intellectual property, such as literature, art, music, and discoveries cannot be patented; instead, these can be protected using other methods, such as copyrights and trademarks.

Draft Patent Specification

In order to apply for a patent, there are a number of specific steps that must be taken. For example, you must complete a Form 1, which is a request for grant of a patent.

In addition to completing a Form 1, you will also need to provide a patent specification. A patent specification comprises four primary parts:

  1. A written description of your invention;
  2. Drawings of the invention;
  3. Explanation of claims detailing invention’s novel nature; and
  4. An abstract.

It is very important that your patent specification is accurate, descriptive, and complete in nature. Incomplete or inadequate patent specifications will most likely result in a denied patent application. You will file your patent application with the UK Intellectual Patent Office.

Other Ways of Protecting Your Invention

The patent process can takes months to complete. In the meantime, seeking out other methods of protecting your invention is advised. Some tips for protecting your invention include the use of non-disclosure agreements for work surrounding your invention; trademarking your invention’s or/and company’s name; and being discreet in discussions about your invention. Before seeking a patent, it is also smart to document as much as you can about your invention, and to conduct thorough research to ensure that another patent for an invention similar to yours does not already exist.

Why Seek a Patent for an Invention?

You are not legally obligated to seek a patent for an invention in the UK. However, if you do not seek a patent, others may be within their rights to market, sell, create, and distribute an invention that mirrors yours. In order to ensure that you hold exclusive rights to your invention, you must seek a patent. Once you own a patent, you can sell it for monetary gain.

When you create something, protecting it serves you well. For help understanding the patent process, seek the counsel of a UK patent lawyer.


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