A patent is used to protect an invention. It gives the owner complete ownership of an invention and the right to take legal action anyone who uses, sells or copies the inventions without permission. The ownership usually lasts for 20 years.
A patent application can take a long time (3 to 4 years) to get registered. There are also conditions which need to be met for a patent to get registered. These conditions are listed as follows:
– the invention should have some new characteristic, which should be verified by industry experts
– the invention should introduce an “inventive step” or a “non-obvious” function, which haven’t been introduced by industry experts before
– the invention must be capable of being used for an industrial or business purpose
– some things are not patentable in the UK for e.g. scientific theories, mathematical methods, discoveries of natural substances, computer programs etc.
– the invention should be described in a clear and complete manner in the application; another technical expert should be able to recreate it using the description
The infographic below shows the process of registering a patent in the UK.