patent application

patent application
Obtaining a patent under the Patents Act 1977 falls into three main stages. Firstly an application is filed with the Patent Office. This filing date commences the 20 year period of patent protection (see also priority date). After a twelve month period to allow the applicant to explore the commercial value of the invention, he must send to the Patent Office a description of the invention together with one or more claims which define the area of exclusivity he seeks. The Patent Office then carries out a preliminary search. If successful, the patent specification and claims will be published and are therefore open to anyone wishing to see it. After a further six months the patent will undergo substantive examination for compliance with the requirements of Section 1 of the Patents Act 1977 and if so a patent is then granted. The whole process takes about three years.

Easyform Glossary of Law Terms. — UK law terms.

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