What is a Patent
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17 February 2011
Patents are part of the intellectual property (IP) family of rights,
granted by the government which give the holder exclusive rights to an
invention for a set period of time during which others are prevented
from making, using, selling, importing or exporting the invention
without the holder's permission.
Patents enable the holder to generate
revenue by utilising the invention himself, or by licensing others to
Benefits of having a patent
Patents offer the holder a monopoly over
Some argue that patents can be beneficial
to a country's economy as they reward innovation and thereby encourage
competition for new ideas with other inventors.
It must be noted that only the holder of a
patent is responsible for enforcing the patent rights, not the UKIPO.
What is patentable?
For an invention to be patentable it must
have new functional or technical aspects and not a modification of what
is already known. A patent could be obtained on how things work, how
they are made or what they are made of.
Before a patent application is made, the
inventor will first need to carry out significant research to establish
whether the invention is new. This will include searching through
patents already published. The examiner that deals with the patent
application will also carry out a search to see that the invention is
new. If there is any evidence to the contrary, the application will be
refused. It is therefore important that a solicitor specialising in
patents or a Patent Attorney is consulted, who can carry out a thorough
search for you to increase the chance of your patent application being
If a patent is seen as a potential
hindrance to innovation, such as one that would grant too large a
monopoly to the inventor, then it will not be granted.
How long does a patent last?
Under the Patent Act 1977, patents last 20
years provided annual renewal fees are paid.
If you are considering
patenting an invention, then please contact our Intellectual Property
Inam Ali is a Solicitor at Lawdit,
specialising in Commercial Property and Intellectual Property Law and
can be contacted via email: 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 2011-03-16 13:21:02 in Legal Articles