patent protects your invention and lets you take legal action against anyone who makes, uses, sells or imports your invention without your permission. A patent however doesn’t keep your invention secret. In return for the legal protection you get, you agree to share how to create or replicate your invention with the public. Patents can give protection for 20 years provided renewal fees are paid each year. When your patent expires, other people can then make and sell your invention as it is no longer owned by you. You should carefully consider how you are going to use the patent and what you will gain from it. It’s generally your responsibility to enforce your patent and ensure it is properly protected, meaning that any legal action against another party will be started, and funded, by you.

So, you need to make sure that the potential benefit of a patent will outweigh the time, effort and money it takes to get and maintain one.

FACT: The most common mistake made by inventors is to reveal their invention before applying for a patent. If you have made your invention public, you could lose the possibility of being granted a patent. Many applications never result in a granted patent because they don’t satisfy the legal requirements. 



IP EQUIP – Patents Module

Learn to identify and protect your IP & gain CPD accreditation & IPO certificate on completion, It’s quick, free and easy,

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IP Health Check

A tailored report is created for you with a list of actions to take, guidance on how to put each course of action into practice, links to useful information and resources 

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Portsmouth Patent Library Centre

Portsmouth City Council Library Service
Central Library
Guildhall Square
United Kingdom

Contact details

Telephone: +44(0)23 9268 8041 or +44(0)23 9268 8064


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