To patent, or not to patent?

Britain has a long tradition of innovation but it’s perhaps worth remembering that not every invention is likely to result in commercial success. The national archives are filled with ideas from would-be-entrepreneurs that never quite made it into production. Moustache protectors, inflatable corsets and even spectacles for chickens may sound curiously comical, but they do offer some valuable lessons for entrepreneurs who are thinking of patenting a new invention.

As an intellectual property specialist, one of the most commonly asked questions I receive from business owners relates to the different ways in which they can prevent others from copying their ideas. For some, filing a patent application is an important step in securing investment to commercialise research and development – offering opportunities to diversify and expand. For others, it provides an opportunity to distinguish themselves from competitors, introducing new manufacturing processes or techniques which can offer significant commercial advantage.

In many cases, patents can relate to different aspects of an invention, so you can patent a process or method as well as a product. There are also financial incentives available. The Government’s Patent Box scheme allows entrepreneurs to claim Corporation Tax relief on the profits of patented technology. However, in cases where an invention is unlikely to enter into production, the benefits of filing a patent application can be questionable.

It’s perhaps worth remembering that filing a patent application is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Patents should certainly be considered before an invention has been disclosed in the public domain and it’s also worth giving thought to the geographical areas applicable to your business. Although, obtaining patents throughout the world may at face-value appear to be an attractive option, the likely costs of filing and renewing the patent over twenty years could run into tens of thousands of pounds. Therefore, consulting a patent attorney at the earliest possible stage will help you to make the right choices for your business.

To find out how Howard can help your business, call 0114 218 0653 today

Patent Advice

Some say imitation is the best form of flattery, but there’s nothing flattering about a business rival copying ideas which have taken your company time, research and money to develop.

Filing a patent application is one of the most effective ways of protecting inventions. A successfully granted patent is not only likely to deter others from copying your business ideas, but it also provides your business with legal ownership rights.

Based in Sheffield, Howard Lock Intellectual Property provides friendly, professional advice which is always tailored towards your individual needs. In other words, we treat the people we help in a way that we would.

For over 25 years, founder of the company Howard Lock has been helping businesses to make the right decisions when it comes to protecting intellectual property. As a qualified Chartered Patent Attorney, European Patent Attorney and Trade Mark Attorney you can be assured of receiving the best possible advice when it comes to protecting your business ideas.

We will guide you through the whole process of applying for a patent. From the outset we will take time to examine the design and we will make recommendations on how to obtain the best possible protection for your ideas, as well as conducting searches on your behalf to ensure similar designs have not previously been granted.

Using our many years of professional expertise, we will draft and file the patent application on your behalf, keeping you fully informed as the application progresses. For businesses holding multiple patents, we also offer a complete portfolio management service.

It’s worth remembering that different patent laws can apply in different countries and using his extensive experience and understanding of UK, European and International patent laws, and Howard Lock Intellectual Property will help to secure the right forms of protection for your business, no matter where in the world you trade.

Our client base ranges from established manufacturing and engineering companies to family-run ventures and start-ups and from our Sheffield-based headquarters we work with many different types of businesses throughout the UK.

A granted patent will not only provide your business with legal protection for an invention, but there can also be tax benefits associated with Patent ownership. Under the Government’s Patent Box scheme, tax liabilities can be reduced on any profits generated from patented technology.