Knowledge Hub

Knowledge Hub provides a range of information sheets to answer any general IP queries that you may have. From introductions to IP, to information on legal practice and legal principles, we have it covered.

Our information sheets are also all available to download as PDFs.

Patents - Prosecution and Procedure

Actionable Threats

If, as an IP right holder, you become aware that someone is infringing your IP, litigation is unlikely to be your first port of call. Suing another party is expensive and time consuming, and is usually seen as a last resort. It may be tempting, therefore, to contact the potential infringer, seeking to stop the infringement. However, UK law prohibits certain types of communications, known as Actionable Threats, and great care must be taken when communicating with another party about a potential infringement.

The UKIPO Green Channel

The UK Intellectual Property Office offers accelerated processing for patent applications if the invention has an environmental benefit, via the Green Channel scheme. Applicants can request to accelerate any of the following: search, examination, search and examination, and/or publication. There is no official fee for applying to use this service.

Euro-PCT Patent Application Route

A European patent application can be obtained by entering the European regional phase from an International PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application, commonly referred to as the “Euro-PCT route”.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international agreement under the Paris Convention to promote international cooperation in the field of patents.

The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) System

By agreement between the offices and on request of a patent applicant, the work product of one patent office that has already allowed the application or given a positive International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP) (the Office of Earlier Examination “OEE”) is used in the examination of the patent application of the same family in another patent office (the Office of Later Examination “OLE”), provided that the applicant presents only the allowable claims in the OLE application.

European Patent Prosecution

The path to obtaining a European patent can be viewed as a multi-stage process. Firstly, at the filing stage, the applicant must provide the European Patent Office (EPO) with sufficient information to be awarded a filing date for the application.

Grant of European Patents: I’ve received an R71(3) – now what?

After substantive examination, if an Examiner considers that a European patent application meets the requirements of the EPC, the Examiner will issue a communication indicating their intention to grant the application (a communication under Rule 71(3) EPC), but then what happens?

PCT Prosecution: Delaying National/Regional Phase Entry

The deadline for UK or European entry of an international (PCT) application can sometimes be delayed beyond the normal 31 month time limit via the EPO or UKIPO.