How does our college commercialise technology that we have developed?
If the developed technology fulfils the requirements for patentability then starting a patent application may be the best thing to do. Once this process is underway then examining what the options exist to commercialise the technology is the next step.
A summary of the UK application process is available on the Patent Office website. To be eligible for patent protection, your invention must be new, inventive and must not be of an excluded type.
If an individual staff member has come up with something new and innovative how can he/she be sure that someone else doesn’t copy it and steal the idea?
If the innovation is significant and has potential commercial value then likewise starting a patent application is the best thing to do. A patent gives the right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling, and importing an invention without the owner’s permission.
The existence of a patent may be enough on its own to stop others from trying to exploit an invention. If it does not, it gives the right to take legal action to stop others exploiting an invention and to claim damages.
What do I need in order to get a patent?
An invention can be patented if it is:
- New – not already known to the public before the date a patent is applied for;
- Inventive – not an obvious modification of what is already known; and
- Capable of industrial application, that is, can be made or used in any kind of industry.
Who grants patents?
UK patents are granted either by the Patent Office as a result of a patent application filed with us or by the European Patent Office as a result of a patent application filed under the European Patent Convention (EPC).
Is it a costly exercise getting a patent?
Applying for and renewing a patent can be expensive and take a long time. Before applying for a patent it is necessary to consider how commercially successful the invention is likely to be and how quickly it will be possible to get it on the market. The likely costs of developing, manufacturing and marketing the invention should also be considered. Other ways of different aspects of a product or process include.
- Registered design
- Registered trade marks
- Unregistered design right and copyright
- Secrecy, private ‘know-how’ and confidentiality agreements.
Further details of these different forms of intellectual property, are available on the Patent Office website.
Why would I need a patent?
If an invention is not patented, anyone can use, make or sell the invention without permission. It may be possible to try and keep the invention secret, but this may not be possible for a product where the technology is on display
How do I know if my invention is worth patenting?
An invention will be worth patenting if the college has a realistic prospect of being able to protect, sell, licence, share or use invention in order to benefit commercially.
What do I need to do to have my invention patented?
A summary of the UK application process is available on the Patent Office website. The process involves preparing a ‘patent specification’ which includes a written ‘description’ of the invention. It is then necessary to fill in and submitting a form together with the appropriate fees which is followed by a preliminary examination by the Patent Office.
If the application meets all the requirements of the Patents Act 1977, the Patent Office will grant the patent, publish the application in its final form and issue a certificate. For work related inventions many institutions will have research and knowledge exchange services which will deal with the process on an individual’s behalf.