How to apply for a patent

Making the application

An application for a patent to be registered in Great Britain is made by completing form 1, which can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or down loaded from their website.

The application should include a full description of the invention to which the application relates, including any drawings, and should include a set of claims defining the invention and a short abstract summarising the technical features of the invention.

Once form 1 has been completed it should be sent to the Intellectual Property Office, together with the application fee and form FS2 (the “fee sheet” which can also be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or downloaded from their website).

The claims, abstract, application and search fee must be sent to the Intellectual Property Office within 12 months of the date upon which the application is received by the Intellectual Property Office or the priority date.

A “request for search” should also be sent to the Intellectual Property Office. This can be sent with the application or within 12 months of the date upon which the application was received by the Intellectual Property Office or the priority date. A “request for search” is made by completing and sending to the Intellectual Property Office form 9A, the claims and abstract and the search fee. Form 9A can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or downloaded from their website and up to date information as to the fee payable and how payment can be made can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or found on their website.

If the applicant is not the inventor or if there is more than one inventor or if the inventor is a company, the applicant must also send a “statement of inventorship” to the Intellectual Property Office. This is done by sending form 7 to the Intellectual Property Office and by the applicant explaining the ground upon which they have the right to apply for the patent. Form 7 can be sent to the Intellectual Property Office by post or electronically via their website. It should be sent within 16 months of the date upon which the Intellectual Property Office received the application or the priority date if the applicant is claiming priority from an earlier application. Form 7 can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or downloaded from their website.

Form 1, the application fee, form FS2 and any accompanying documents can normally be sent to the Intellectual Property Office by post or electronically via its website. However, if the application contains information which if published may be prejudicial to national security or public safety the application must be hand delivered to the Intellectual Property Office during opening hours and marked for the attention of Room GR70.

The application fee varies depending upon how the application is made (there is a discount for applications made on line). Up to date information on the fees payable and how payment can be made can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or found on their website.

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For more information on:

  • Acknowledgment of the application
  • Checking the application
  • Publication of the application
  • Substantive examination
  • Granting a patent