Patents are useful business tools. They are key assets for most organisations and are essential building blocks in many different commercial agreements.
A patent gives you the right (a monopoly right) to stop other people and other companies from using the invention without your permission. Inventions come in many different forms, but the key is to look for a new solution to a technical problem. We offer free awareness training, seminars and IP clinics that will help reveal the inventions in your business.
Details of an invention must be kept secret until a patent application is safely on file at the Patent Office, because a valid UK or European patent can only be obtained if the application was filed before the invention goes public. However, talking about a new invention is essential in order to get the project off the ground. We can give you detailed advice on what you can disclose, to whom and how - and still keep your options open for getting patents later.
We have a full range of searching, watching, opinion and advice services. Our searches can look at competitor activity and are a source of technical information. A search at the early stages of a project will help establish the current picture and perhaps inspire your own creative thinking, because patents are a highly-organised and well-structured goldmine of useful data. We also provide a diverse set of IP audits and inspections (due diligence), validity searches and risk assessments (freedom-to-operate searches).
Why Appleyard Lees?
Appleyard Lees provide a full service to obtain and maintain your patent portfolio - from one patent family to hundreds of cases. We are experts in drafting new patent applications and getting you granted patents in the UK, in Europe and around the world. We offer strategic advice on what to patent, where and when and then manage the whole process for you from start to finish.
Patents in Europe
Over thirty countries in Europe, including all the member countries of the European Union, cooperate to run the European Patent Office (EPO). A single patent application at the EPO covers all of these countries and provides one patent granted with a single, streamlined procedure. Then, this single granted European patent is validated in each of the countries where you want the protection to stay alive, according to the national procedures in that country - giving you freedom and flexibility and keeping costs to a minimum. As European Patent Attorneys we are Professional Representatives for our clients in all procedures at the EPO, and we have extensive experience at all levels of prosecution, oppositions and appeals.
Patents around the World
Each country runs their own patent system and the government controls the activities in that state - including patent rights. However, there is a high degree of co-operation especially in the early stages of getting patents and we will give you expert guidance on strategy, timing and costs to get patents in your key markets around the world. In the later stages, we have an excellent network of overseas associates, most of whom we have met personally and worked with for many years, and will manage the whole process including liaising with these local attorneys on your behalf.