Patents protect new processes and technical innovations, and they offer inventors up to a 20-year monopoly to use, manufacture, or even sell an invention. For an idea to be patentable it must be ‘new’ or ‘inventive’, and it must be something that can be made or used. You cannot patent something that is just an idea (such as a way of thinking or a scientific or mathematical discovery); and you cannot patent creative expressions like literary or dramatic works – these are protected by copyright law.

Applying for a patent can be a lengthy and expensive process, and you should both be aware of and consider very carefully the fact that technical information about your invention will be disclosed during the patent application process. If you’re thinking about applying for a patent, it is important that you first seek expert IP advice.

The Business & IP Centre has helped many inventors and businesses apply for patents. This help goes beyond expert patent advice; members of our staff have helped inventors find and gain access to funding and trade bodies.

If you would like to speak to an IP adviser about a patent, please click here and fill in the booking form.

If you have a specific IP issue, you can book an appointment with our IP and Corporate Solicitor, IP Lawyer or our Patent Attorney in Residence.