The Patent Application Process in the UK

After applying for your patent in the UK, the UK IPO will check that your application meets its requirements and send confirmation of your application number and filing date. The filing date is the date the application is received.

The UK IPO will then carry out a security check. The UK IPO checks every application filed to identify whether it contains information which, if published, would be prejudicial to national security or the safety of the public.

The IPO will notify you what are the next steps that need to be taken. A description, claims, abstract, application fee and search fee must be sent then within 12 months of the filing date.

A search must be requested to be done by the IPO within 12 months of the filing date. The UK IPO will check the application against published patents and documents to check whether the invention is new and inventive.

If the application meets the IPO?s requirements, it will be published approximately 18 months from the filing date.

A substantive examination must then be requested within 6 months of publication. In this examination the IPO will examine your application and advise you whether it meets the IPO?s requirements. If it does not meet the requirements, the IPO will tell you what needs to be done and the period in which it needs to be completed. This can continue for up to 4.5 years from the filing date.

When the application is confirmed to meet the IPO?s requirements, the patent will be granted and it will be published in its final form and a certificate will be sent.

After the patent has been granted it will need to be renewed regularly to keep it in force.

A typical patent application takes 2 to 3 years to grant.

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