Home > Contracts & Law > Patents & The Law

Patents & The Law

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 29 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Patent Law Rights Infringement

A patent is used to protect new inventions with the purpose of allowing the creator of the invention to have the legal right to decide who can and cannot make, import, or sell the invention without their permission. Patents also cover how new inventions function, how they work and what they are made of.

Stipulations for Patents

There are stipulations required in order for an invention to be patented. The invention must be original and be capable of being used or produced in some form of industry. There is no actual requirement for an invention to be patented but if the invention does go on sale or the invention is made public then it will be too late to obtain a patent. It makes sense to obtain a patent in order to stop other people from copying your invention.

Patents and the Law

One of the requirements for patent rights is that the inventor does need to give full disclosure of the invention. Details of the patent are then disclosed in patent libraries. A UK patent only maintains rights for the invention in the UK; that is to sell, import, manufacture and use the invention within the UK. International patent rights can be applied for within 12 months of filing the original patent application. Once the patent has been granted it will then be the duty of the holder of the patent rights to stop infringement of the patent from others.

Timescale of Patents

In Britain patent rights last for 20 years from the date the patent application was filed. During the 20 years the patent will need to be renewed and renewal fees will be applicable. If the patent lapses through non payment of renewal fees or the 20 year timescale expires then the patent rights will also expire and the invention can then be exploited by anyone. However, there may be other intellectual property rights attached to the invention that will stop invention exploitation by others.

Patent Agents

Although it is not required many inventors will use patent agents in much the same way that authors use literary agents. Patent agents will be able to give advice on the best way of commercialising the invention and deal with applications and negotiations with the patent office. They will also be knowledgeable on the best way to protect the invention and the inventor’s rights outside of the normal patent route.

Patent Fees

There is no fee for a patent application but it will cost around £200 in fees in order to obtain a patent grant. If the patent is granted there will also be renewal fees to pay, and if you hire a patent agent then his or her fees will also need to be paid.

Patent Infringement

Patent infringement is taken very seriously and hefty fines have been applied by the law for infringement. Cases of infringement of patent rights have been found in very large and very well known companies and the financial penalties imposed have ranked at the millions of pounds level. Inventors who are applying for patent rights will need to check with the patents database in order to make sure that they are not infringing on anyone else’s patent rights.

Patent law has been set in place to both protect the rights of the inventor in much the same way that copyright exists for authors, musicians and artists. Gaining a patent for an invention is not an easy process and in some cases it can take a few years, but it is the sensible approach to take in order to prevent other from exploiting what could be years of hard work.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • She
    Re: The Law & Verbal Agreements
    In 2003 my husband had me sign some financial papers one morning. I was running late for work and took no notice, just signing…
    16 September 2020
  • She
    Re: The Law & Verbal Agreements
    In 2003 my husband had me sign some financial papers one morning. I was running late for work and took no notice, just signing…
    16 September 2020
  • Zee
    Re: Illegal Employment Contracts
    I'm working for a community radio station.been with the station for almost 5 years being a Receptionist,working from 9am to…
    13 September 2020
  • Bean
    Re: Title Deeds: Who Keeps Them?
    How do you go about finding the details of a property from the land registry.
    5 September 2020
  • abdul
    Re: Legally Binding Contracts
    I purchased a house in 1992 and made sales agreement and took mortgage for the house. It was bought from distant relative who were…
    26 August 2020
  • Osk
    Re: Contracts and Self Employment
    Hi I’m self employed and have been working part time for the same company for 4 years. I pay my own tax and n.i However - My…
    24 August 2020
  • Sammy
    Re: Agency Work & Contracts
    I work for agency and recently i had to go on medical leave due to the need for hand surgery. I was released from my doctor to go…
    14 August 2020
  • Charlie
    Re: The Law & Verbal Agreements
    I had a verbal agreement with some neighbours to my business address to allow me to place a sign on their fence. I offered…
    7 August 2020
  • Lazyla
    Re: Breach of Contract
    I ordered a custom made cnc in April 2020 on a 14 eta of delivery...3 months down the line after paying in full the bloke now says the quote he…
    29 July 2020
  • Tricky
    Re: Store Agreements Explained
    What was the reply to Carol and happy new year query above?
    27 July 2020