What is a patent?
Inventions that are sufficiently innovative and new may be able to be patented. Patent rights provide legal protection to creators of inventions in order to enable them to exploit their rights in their product and make sure that others cannot use their invention without permission.
How do patents work?
The law can grant up to 20 years patent protection to creators of new inventions. Within this period the inventor will have a monopoly over all use of the invention and can exploit this by licensing its use in return for a payment of royalties.
However, in return for the legal protection, the inventor has to agree to disclose the details of the invention in a ‘patent specification’. Once the 20 year period comes to an end the patent rights protection ceases, and the details of the invention are released to the public.
Is your invention patentable?
An invention will only be patentable if it satisfies four conditions:
1. The invention must be new
2. Constitute an inventive step
3. Be capable of industrial application
4. Not be within the exclusions of the Patent Act 1977
Assessing whether an invention meets the criteria set out in the Patents Act 1977 is often a matter for expert patent attorneys or solicitors. Our Patent rights solicitors can advise you as to whether your invention is patentable and guide you through the application process - drafting all relevant documents where necessary.
If you have already successfully registered a patent and suspect that it is being infringed you must seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. It may be possible to seek an injunction to restrain the infringer from using your invention. If your patent has been infringed you may be able to obtain damages or an account of profits, an order for delivery up or destruction of the infringing goods and a declaration that your patent is valid and has been infringed.
If you have any questions or need advice from a solicitor with regards to your patent rights, or registering a new patent, Caven can put you in touch with a specialist patent solicitor in your local area free of charge so please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.
- Last Updated on 10/10/2012