File your initial application

You must have prepared your documents before applying.

Your initial application must include:

  • your description
  • any drawings you want to include

It is possible to add your claims and abstract later, but sending everything together may avoid delays and mistakes (for example, your claims not matching your description).

You can pay filing fees when you send your initial application or later - but you must pay before your application will progress further.

You can also request and pay for your ‘search’ when you file your initial application. This may help make the process quicker.

When you apply, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will publish your name and the fact you’ve applied for a patent in their journal.

File online

If you cannot file online

You can fill in a form and email or post it to the IPO.

Filing and processing fees

You must pay fees to the IPO for:

  • the initial processing of your application
  • carrying out the search and ‘substantive examination’ of your application after you apply

IPO fees do not include any professional help or advice. If you use a patent attorney or other professional advisor you will have to pay them separately.

Stage Apply online Apply by post or email
Filing an application (if you pay when you apply) £60 £90
Filing an application (if you pay later) £75 £112.50
Search £150 (plus £20 for each claim over 25 claims) £180 (plus £20 for each claim over 25 claims)
Substantive examination £100 (plus £10 for each page of description over 35 pages) £130 (plus £10 for each page of description over 35 pages)

Get your patent granted more quickly

You may be able to get your application processed quicker if, for example:

  • your invention has an environmental benefit (green channel)
  • you’ve got a good business reason for needing a patent more quickly, for example you may miss out on investment in your business

Read guidance on how to get a patent application processed more quickly.