Whether you protect your invention on a national or international level will depend on the invention itself and whether you intend to sell the product internationally. Patents are territorial creatures and therefore it is important that you consider the scope of you future plans.
Securing a patent at the UK Patent Office (www.patent.gov.uk) will only provide you protection inÂ the UK only and therefore you should consider filing patents in other countries where you intendÂ to launch your product (such as the US, Japan, Australia etc). If you intend to sell yourÂ invention throughout Europe there is a central filing office at the European Patent OfficeÂ (www.european-patent-office.org) which accepts patent applications for a number of EuropeanÂ countries and assists in reducing documentation and costs.
Alternatively, you can file a patent to cover your invention on an international basis through theÂ World Intellectual Property Organisation (www.wipo.org) and designate the various member statesÂ you wish to seek protection in.
It is important that you think in the long run as filing a patent is on a time restraint and youÂ have limited time to file patents in other countries once you have filed a national application.
Â It is important that you seek legal advice beforehand.