A patent protects your invention and lets you take legal action against anyone who makes, uses, sells or imports your invention without your permission. When patent protection is granted the invention becomes the property of the inventor, which like any other form of property or business asset can be bought, sold, rented or hired. Patents are territorial rights: UK patents will only give the holder rights in the UK and rights to stop others from importing the patented products into the UK.
Patents are not just abstract concepts; they play an invaluable, practical role in everyday life. By rewarding ideas, patents encourage the development of innovations and new technologies in every field.
A patent can be a valuable source of technical information that may not be disclosed or published elsewhere and they often contain information on new advances earlier than via publication. They are an important source of prior art and could help you avoid duplication of research effort. They can help you identify experts in your field. They can also provide information on new products or new research areas.
The legal requirements for an invention to be patentable are:
You cannot patent certain types of invention, including:
If you have a potential invention and want to consider whether to patent, contact Cambridge Enterprise to explore if they can help you take it forward.