You creation is evolving and you realise that the invention you have made will be marketable and more importantly valuable. Have you told anyone about this invention? Do friends, family, neighbors know about what you have done? If so, be aware that these people could steal your invention and you are not protected.
If this happens before you have taken out a patent, then it may be too late for you to apply for UK Intellectual Property rights. Many people get carried away with their invention and dreaming big - and forget, don't know or understand about its protection.
The most helpful advice will come from an Intellectual Property Lawyer. Your innovation is Intellectual Property and if it meets certain criteria, it needs legal protection.
A patent protects new inventions and covers how something works and what it does. It also protects how the various combinations of elements do this, what materials or components they consist of and how they are made. An Intellectual Property Lawyer will help you to gain the legal right to prevent anyone else from using, manufacturing, selling or importing your invention without your permission.
Your specialist solicitor might do an initial IP search and conduct a watching service. Once your Lawyer has a result on their search they can advise you with an evaluation of freedom to operate and validity of the patent, design or trademark. Your solicitor is able to search the register and can keep updated through regular research using databases and libraries.
Of course, you can't just get a patent from any random idea you have. It must be novel and contain some sort of inventive step which, an expert in the field would not know about. As well as this, it should be able to be untilised in the relevant industry area.
There are some things to which patents cannot be applied for. These include:
- a mathematical theory
- a scientific discovery
- a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work
- an animal or plant variety
- the presentation of material
- a way of playing a game
- a way of doing business
- a method relating to medical diagnosis
- certain IT programmes
It also cannot be against public policy or morality.
Getting the right intellectual property advice is critical. Consult a specialist Intellectual Property Lawyer about patents and get your invention protected. You must renew your patent every 5 years and it will remain protected for 20 years.