Patent Applications - Before you file
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21 December 2009
By Corinne Day
Before you apply for a patent application in the UK you should
consider the following:
1. Is there another type of protection that is more appropriate
to protect your invention?
You may also wish to consider these alternatives in addition
to patent protection.
Confidential Disclosure Agreements and non-disclosure
You must not tell anyone about your invention before you apply
for it as this will make the patent invalid. Therefore, if you intend to discuss
your invention with third parties prior to applying for a patent, you should
consider entering into a confidential disclosure agreements or a non-disclosure
agreement with that party.
Plant breeders' rights
Plant breeders' rights are a form of intellectual property
designed specifically to protect new varieties of plants.
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design etc which
is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can
obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers.
Trade secrets can be kept secret beyond the term of a patent.
The law of confidentiality protects trade secrets. To keep trade
secrets protected, you must establish that the information is confidential, and
ensure that anyone you tell about it signs a confidentiality agreement. If they
then tell anyone about it, this is a breach of confidence and you can take legal
action against them.
2. You must also ensure that your invention is capable of being
protected by a patent, i.e. your invention must be new, inventive and must not
be of an excluded type.
3. Is the invention yours?
Usually as the inventor, you would be the owner of the patent.
However, if you are an employee, and you invented the invention 'during the
course of business', your invention will belong to your employer.
4. You may also wish to consider patent protection elsewhere to
protect your invention in other countries than the UK.
You should ensure that you have received advice from a patent
attorney or solicitor before you apply for a patent. A patent attorney or
solicitor will be able to advise you on the issue of how suitable your invention
is for patent protection, and if so, will guide you through the process of
obtaining a patent for your invention.
Corinne Day is a trainee solicitor who specialises
intellectual property law. She can be contacted via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Lawdit Solicitors offer services and
advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal
agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on
Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the
International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court
Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign
association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-12-31 06:41:46 in Legal Articles