Socially enterprising since 1983

All businesses and inventions start with an idea. Intellectual property rights like patents are the expression of that idea. 

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t file a patent application. Depending on the type of invention other types of Intellectual Property (IP) protection may be better. 

Research: does it already exist? 

Your invention must be novel. This means it must never have been made public in any way, anywhere in the world, before the date your professional IP advisor files your patent application. 

You’ll probably be surprised how many inventions already exist, even though you have never seen or heard of them. Most patent applications filed around the world every year fail to be granted, normally because a similar invention has been published before. 

To avoid wasting time, effort and money you should carry out a search through published patents and other documents such as trade catalogues before thinking about applying. 

Firstly, you should do an internet search, if you don’t find your idea, you should then look in databases of published patents with The Intellectual Property Office  then trade booklets and catalogues. Or you could pay a patent attorney or other professional IP advisor to do a search for you. 

This will also help prevent you from unknowingly infringing on another person’s patent rights. 

For Patents step 2 click here


Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.


Got a business question?

We're here to help. Get in touch.  

Book your free appointment below:

Cookie Policy

We use cookies. See our Cookie Policy