Friday, 5 October 2012

“The Patenting Process” Sarah Whitehead, UK Intellectual Property Office Examiner. Leeds Inventors Group 19th September 2012

Sarah, legal adviser at the UKIPO, gave a comprehensive overview of the patenting processand the other options available to anyone wishing to protect what they’ve got.

She explained that a patent is a deal between inventor and state which gives the inventor the right to stop others making or exploiting the invention – it doesn’t, in itself, give the inventor a right to carry out the invention as there may be other impediments to this. A patent is also not a guarantee of success for the product and an inventor must police their own patent. Neither the government nor the police will pursue patent infringers. Infringement in any case is a civil matter rather than a criminal matter. IPO examiners do not make a commercial evaluation of a proposed invention – their only concern is whether it is new and inventive, not whether it is worthwhile.
Protection in other countries requires filing patents in those countries or applying for protection in several countries in one go through the European Patent Office or the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

Sarah went through the sections of a patent specification, the steps in the process and the cost, pointing out that a well-drafted application is likely to have more chance of being granted. Particularly if having a patent is fundamental to the commercial success of your business then legal advice is advisable.

It can take a maximum of four and a half years from first filing to get a patent granted. (It can take significantly longer if you go through the US or European Patent Offices.) It is possible, however, to speed up this process. This can be done either by filing a request for combined search and examination (which would otherwise take place separately) or ask for accelerated processing. You do need a particular reason for an application to be accepted for accelerated processing – often this will be to do with the market which the patent is aimed at, or perhaps you are concerned about the actions of a potential infringer. If your invention involves “Green” technology this is a good reason to have the application accelerated. It’s important to understand that such procedures mean that your application will be published earlier. It will be in the “public domain” which may give you less time to plan your marketing strategy, and may alert your competitors earlier.

Because it is up to the applicant to defend their patent against infringers it is important to consider whether you will be able to enforce it. It can be an expensive process and patent insurance may be worth considering.

Sarah pointed out that two of the most important things to bear in mind when applying for a patent are:- make sure you stick to deadlines you are given; and consider your market – will anyone want to buy your product?

From the Patent Examiner's Mouth

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Enterprise Club 15/10/12:The importance of social media for new businesses,presented by Liz Cable founder of Reach Further

Enterprise Club 15th October-The importance of social media for new businesses,presented by Liz Cable founder of Reach Further 6-7.45pm all welcome


We have a group The Enterprise Club (Leeds) on LinkedIN for attendees of the the Enterprise Club. It has useful information for Business Start-Ups, discussions and special promotions. Why not join up to this group now? Here is the link:
To find out more and book into the workshops contact:
Business and Patent Information Services
Tel: 0113 2478266