Patents and Inventions

Our patent lawyers advise on filings ranging from simple consumer products through to complex software and biotech patents. Briffa provide an expert service to suit your needs. Fees are fixed for each stage allowing you to budget and spread cost.

Our patent specialists work closely with other lawyers in the firm to ensure an integrated, thought through strategy and approach to identify and protect what is valuable, preserve your market edge and not waste resources on getting a patent just because you can.

We can help you

  • decide on a sustainable and valuable patent strategy
  • patent planning
  • with licensing and joint ventures for your patented technology
  • protect know-how and trade secrets
  • identify companies that are infringing your patents and take effective enforcement action in the High Court and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court

Patent Law

Patents can be applied for with many types of new, technical inventions, Criteria for obtaining a patent in the UK include:

(a) the invention must be new:

(b) It must incorporate an inventive step;

(c) It is capable of industrial application; and

(d) It does not fall into one of the excluded categories

What sort or inventions should be and/or need to be patented?

To be patentable, an invention will typically be an apparatus, a product, a manufacturing process including an inventive step which is not simply a further development of something  already known.

It must be capable of being made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture. Most inventions satisfy this requirement.

Things which cannot be patented includes works of art, scientific and mathematical theories or methods and the presentation of information.

Patents are often very technical and detailed in nature. The paperwork is typically long and detailed and involves technical and scientific information.

This is one reason that many Patent Attorneys have a scientific background and are best placed to draft your patent. An advantage of instructing us is that we not only have retained patent attorneys, our IP lawyers have a thorough and rounded knowledge of IP in practice. This is valuable to foresee potential pitfalls, avoid disputes but most importantly, we are a one stop shop to help patent clients commercialise their invention in the most beneficial and profitable way.

 How long does it take to get a patent and what does it cost?

The application process is:

  • complicated – only 1 in 20 applicants get a patent without professional help
  • expensive – with professional help, applications typically cost  from £4,000.00 and upwards and may be significantly more expensive depending on the work involved
  • long – it can takes 5 years

If you get a patent, you’ll also have to pay to renew it each year and you need to be aware of the potential costs of legal action to defend it.

Vital to do a Patent Search first

You should always conduct a patent search before investing any significant amount of money in an idea.

How long does patent protection last and where geographically does protection apply?

A patent lasts 20 years from the filing date. The inventor is the owner of the rights in an invention, and if the applicant is not the inventor, then an explanation will need to be given of how the applicant has derived the rights in the invention.

Usually this is by virtue of employment, but could be by formal legal assignment of the rights. Any uncertainty in ownership should be resolved at an early stage with advice from lawyers.

The starting point (although see below) is that individual patents must be obtained for each country where protection is required, although mechanisms exist for streamlining the application procedure when protection in multiple countries is desired.

What about European Patent Protection?

Since 1978 it has been possible to file a European patent application to obtain a European patent which 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 countries which are members of the European Patent Convention (EPC).

Members of the EPC are not all members of the European Union (EU), although all current members of the EU are members of the EPC.

Recent patent work

  • Consumer electronics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Smart fashion – wearable electronics
  • Patents which benefit the environment
  • Software patents – complex systems for delivery of services or electronic products.

Get in touch with our expert patent lawyers. Our specialist IP experience and expertise means we guide and advise on all available intellectual property and invention protection options. Applying for a patent may or may not be the best or most commercial option for you. 

Book a free meeting or ask us a question.