Apply for a patent
Before you apply
Only apply for a patent if:
- you’ve checked your invention does not already exist, for example by searching online for similar products to your invention
- you have the time and money for the process
Having a patent will not guarantee your invention will make money. Consider if a patent is worth the cost to you and your business before you apply.
Get professional help and advice
You can get free advice on whether a patent is right for you from:
- a patent attorney or other professional advisor - many offer basic advice for free
- an intellectual property (IP) clinic
- the British Library Business and IP Centre in London
You will have to pay a patent attorney if you want help with the application process. Fees can be several thousand pounds but they will give you a much better chance of being granted a patent.
A patent attorney can:
- help you prepare your application
- guide you through the process to getting your patent granted
- respond to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on your behalf
You may not be able to patent your invention if it becomes public knowledge. If you discuss your invention with anyone apart from a patent attorney, you may need a non-disclosure agreement.