Renewing a patent

Why do I need to renew my patent?

Once a patent has been registered the invention to which it relates will be protected as a patent provided that it is renewed on the 4th anniversary of the date upon which it was filed. Once a patent has been renewed it will remain protected as a patent for an additional year. A patent can subsequently be renewed every year for up to 20 years.

When can I apply to renew my patent?

An application for the renewal of a patent can be made up to 3 months before the “payment due date”. The “payment due date” is the last day of the month in which the anniversary of filing falls.

If the Intellectual Property Office granted the patent later than 3 years 9 months after the filing date the patent the “payment due date” is the last day of the third month after the grant was made.

Making an application to renew a Patent

An application to renew a Patent is made by completing and sending to the Intellectual Property Office forms 12 and FS2 (“the fee sheet”) together with the renewal fee.

Forms 12 and FS2 can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or downloaded from their website.

Up to date information on the fee payable and how payment can be made can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or found on their website. The level of the fee increases for every year in which the patent is in force. If the patent is endorsed “licence of right” the owner of the patent only has to pay half the amount of the renewal fee which would otherwise be payable.

What happens after the application to renew the patent has been made?

The Intellectual Property Office will then write to the owner of the patent confirming that the patent has been renewed for a further year.

What if I fail to renew my patent on time?

If the owner of a patent fails to renew their patent on time the Intellectual Property Office will send a reminder letter to the owner of the patent.

The owner of a patent can apply to renew the patent within 6 months of the expiry of the renewal date. If it is renewed within 1 month of the expiry of the renewal date no additional fee is payable. A late payment fee is, however, payable upon the application to renew a patent made more than a month late. The fee payable will depend upon how late the application for renewal is made. Up to date information on the fee payable and how payment can be made can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or found on their website.

If the owner of a patent fails to renew their patent within 6 months of the expiry of the renewal date they can apply for the patent to be restored provided that they do so within 13 months. This is done by completing and sending to the Intellectual Property Office form 16, a statement explaining why the owner of the patent failed to renew their patent together with a fee for restoring the patent. Form 16 can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or downloaded from their website and up to date information on the fee payable and how payment can be made can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office or found on their website.

If the Intellectual Property Office agrees to an application to restore the patent it will publish the application in the Patents and Designs Journal and record it on the Patents Register. If the Intellectual Property Office is satisfied that the applicant’s failure to renew the patent was unintentional, it will restore the patent provided that all outstanding fees have been paid.

If the Intellectual Property Office is not satisfied that the failure to renew the patent was unintentional the application for restoration of the patent will be refused. If the application is refused the owner of the patent will have the opportunity to request a hearing with a senior official.

The Intellectual Property Office publishes the outcome of applications to restore a patent in the Patents and Designs Journal and records them on the Patents Register.