Any commercially valuable information may be protected as a trade secret. Trade secrets are a little different from other types of intellectual property rights because there is no registration process and, by definition, no requirement to disclose the information to the public in exchange for protection.
Can I get an International Patent?
There is no international patent to provide global protection for an invention. Instead, a patent must be obtained in each country or region where protection is required as a patent holder is only able prevent another person from using the invention or importing a product that implements the invention in a country or region where a patent is held.
Patents - Prosecution and Procedure
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.
Patents - Legal Principles
What Is Priority and Why Is It Useful?
An invention must at least be new and inventive to be patentable so filing a patent application before publicly disclosing an invention is essential, as a public disclosure can mean the invention is not considered new by the patent office however you may not know prior to filing if the patent is beneficial.
Medical Inventions in Europe
Methods of treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or body are excluded from patentability in Europe.
In most countries, patent applications are required to “disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for the invention to be carried out by a person skilled in the art” but what does this requirement mean?
Designs are perhaps not the most well-known form of intellectual property (IP) protection. However, for many IP-savvy businesses, registered designs can form a crucial part of an IP portfolio. But what exactly is a registered design?
Design Rights in the UK and EU
Designs are perhaps one of the more complex areas of IP due to the different design IP rights that can protect a product or article. In this information sheet we highlight the legal principles of design IP in the UK and the EU.
Funding for SMEs
The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) is currently offering qualifying small and medium-sized businesses grants towards the cost of various IP services.
The UK Patent Box is a generous scheme that can yield significant savings for UK companies. By electing for Patent Box tax treatment, UK companies can benefit from a reduced rate of Corporation Tax of 10% on a proportion of profits derived from qualifying intellectual property (IP) rights.
R&D Tax Relief and Overlap With Patents
In order to encourage and reward greater innovation in the UK, the Government offer research and development (R&D) incentives for both large companies and small and medium size enterprises.