Excellent service and legal advice from team specialising in patents and intellectual property delivering an amazing client experience for companies in the UK.

Patents protect new inventions and are normally something that can be made or used in industry. Compared to other intellectual property rights patents are expensive to obtain and take a long time to be granted but are still very valuable rights.

Recent typical patents cover the bagless Dyson hoover and the operating systems in a Blackberry both of which have been party to court cases.

The initial discussion is normally about whether your idea is patentable or not. If not, it may still be protected as a trade secret. However, if it is patentable the first thing to do is ensure the idea has not got out into the public domain. The reason being that if the idea is already known to the public it is not new and therefore cannot be patented.

We would then carry out an initial search to make sure that the idea is not already patented and, if not, apply to register it. You will then be able to use the "patent pending" phrase as a notice to third parties that your idea is being protected. It also allows you to discuss the licensing and exploitation of your idea if you do not have sufficient resource to say manufacture or market it fully and need a partner.

Much like any other intellectual property right if you do not protect it against other people copying it your reputation will be damaged and the value of the patent diluted. We have advised many clients on the validity of the patent in question or if someone else has infringed their patent. Some of our cases are amongst the longest running patent cases in the UK and Europe covering the Patents Court, the Court of Appeal and the UK Intellectual Property Office.

We would suggest early advice is always recommended in order to understand the costs, timing and process of obtaining, protecting and exploiting your patent.

Work highlights

  • Advising Waters Corporation, a US filtration business, on its patent dispute against Agilent Technologies Inc concerning a water filter pump
  • Protecting The Mead Corporation, a US packaging business which created one of the first six pack beer holders without handles, against copycat beer holders
  • Acting for a UK manufacturer of vehicle brake and suspension systems, against an allegation it infringed third party patents