Understanding Patent Law

As a specialist law firm for intellectual property, we are fluent in the intricacies and nuances of patent law. We have extensive experience defending and prosecuting patent infringement claims, and we can help monetise your patent with bespoke licensing agreements.

You can file a patent for many types of new, technical inventions. The criteria for obtaining a patent in the UK are that the invention must be new, incorporate an inventive step, be capable of industrial application, and not fall into one of the excluded categories.

The patent application process is complicated — just one in twenty applicants get a patent without professional help. It’s also expensive. With professional help, applications typically cost upwards of £5,000 but may be significantly more costly depending on the work involved. Plus, from start to finish, the process to file a patent application can take up to five years.

With all that in mind, the decision to embark on patenting to protect your product needs careful consideration. Briffa can guide you as to whether patenting is the right decision for your business in the context of all other options available, and we can work with specialist patent attorneys to get your application underway.

Client testimonial

“Briffa have represented my company on three separate occasions, each time a success. I will never use another solicitor. Great people, great company!”

– Alan van Kleef, Client

How can we help?

We offer a range of patent services to suit your needs, covering everything from simple consumer products to complex software and biotech patents. Fees are fixed for each stage, allowing you to budget and spread the cost.

Our patent solicitors work closely with associate patent attorneys to ensure an integrated, carefully-considered strategy to identify and protect your inventions, preserve your market edge and avoid wasting resources on getting a patent just because you can.

We can help you with the following…

Patent Strategy

We’ll help you decide on a sustainable and valuable patent strategy. A well-formed strategy is crucial as it can help your business protect its interests. In addition, it should be tailored to the needs and objectives of the company in question – meaning every strategy is unique.

Typically, a strategy covers the “if, what, when, where and how” of patents.

Patent Application & Filing

If your product or invention is suitable for a patent, we can work with our patent attorney associates to help you with every aspect of the patent application process.

Filing a strong application with the UK Intellectual Property Office is paramount to your prospects of successfully obtaining a patent. As such, we highly recommend seeking legal advice and support from an experienced patent attorney. We’ll help you find the right attorney, and support you through the filing process.

Patent Licensing & Joint Ventures

For those looking to monetise their patented technology through partnerships, we can help you implement patent licensing agreements or set up a joint venture.

Patent licensing can help take your invention to market through a chosen third party (or third parties). Alternatively, a joint venture allows businesses to share patents and other assets through a new company established solely for the venture.

Patent Infringement & Protection

Our patent lawyers can help you protect your “know-how” and stop your trade secrets from being stolen, copied or leaked.

In addition, our team can identify companies that are infringing your patents and take effective enforcement action in the High Court and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.

Why work with Briffa?

We’re recommended by the Legal500 for the quality of our service, having provided a full range of intellectual property services, including support with patents, since 1995.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your patent requirements before providing fixed-fee quotes for our services.

We have offices in London, UK, and Cork, the Republic of Ireland, plus a global network of associates.

We offer an industry-leading service with short turnaround times and business-focused advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a patent?

A patent is a legal right of ownership granted to the inventor of a new product or service, protecting the owner from unlicensed or unpermitted use of the invention.

In the UK, patents are granted by the UK Intellectual Property Office for up to 20 years, with the initial application process usually taking four years.

Why are patents important?

Obtaining a patent for an invention is important as it provides strong legal protection against the theft, copying, manufacturing, or selling of your invention without permission.

This means you have the exclusive rights to the use of your new invention for the period of time covered by the patent, allowing you to monetise in a way that suits your objectives with much less pressure from competitors.

Can I file a patent in Europe?

Since 1978, it has been possible to file a European patent application to obtain a patent that may take effect in a number of countries. A European patent can be an easier and cheaper alternative to obtaining individual national patents in the member countries of the European Patent Convention (EPC). Members of the EPC are not necessarily members of the European Union (EU), although all current members of the EU are members of the EPC.

Who do you typically work with?

We have helped many clients across a diverse range of disciplines with patents. From consumer electronics to artificial intelligence, whatever your sector we can help to protect your work and ensure it pays off. Some of the most common industries we advise include:

  • Consumer electronics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Smart fashion, like wearable electronics
  • Environmental technology
  • Software & hardware, such as complex systems for delivery of services or electronics

Why do I need Briffa?

Many law firms, including ourselves, do not file patents. To file a patent, you should engage the services of an experienced patent attorney with a deep understanding of your field. You can file an application without help, but due to the complex nature of patent law, we highly recommend working with a professional. Even the slightest mistake or oversight on your application could result in an unforeseen legal problem down the line, but working with a patent attorney can drastically reduce the risk involved.

As for us, our patent solicitors provide a broader, more strategic role. We advise if your invention is patentable, find a suitable attorney from our network of associates across the UK and further abroad, and provide support through the filing process.

We can then help you license your patents for maximum commercial gain, or protect confidential data or information, or enforce your rights in the event of patent infringement.

Meet our team

Our lovely team are always on hand with expert advice. We’re here to bring creative solutions to your problems, big or small. Find the key contacts for patents below, or follow the link to meet the rest of the team.

Ready to talk?

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch shortly, usually within one working day. We’ll kick things off with a no-obligation chat where we get to know you and understand your current challenges.

Book your free consultation now

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