Global Voices provides professional support for U.S. companies that need international patent filing by simplifying the process and offering a network of qualified professionals to coordinate the filing process. We can substantially reduce your internal costs by handling this administration task for you, as we have a high level of proficiency in all industries and technology. For patent applications around the world, we can call on an extensive network of highly respected firms throughout the world. Global Voices is not tied to any particular firm, so we can select the team that is best suited to a client and/or the technology and obtain the highest level of service at the best value.
UK Patent Filing
UK Patents are filed with the UK Patent Office. We can take care of this for you electronically substantially reducing your costs. Under your instruction we will take care of the preparation of your patent and all filing requirements within the UK, significantly reducing your administration time and allowing you to streamline your workflow.
UK Patent Filing Process
1.Preparing a UK patent application
2. Form 1
- A written description of your patent (allowing others to see how it works).
- Claims (precise legal statements in the form of single sentences that define your invention by setting out its distinctive features).
- Abstract (a summary that includes all of the important technical aspects of your invention).
- A basic patent search can be carried out on espacenet.com before drafting.
We will complete and file your Form 1, which is a request for grant of a patent form, and one copy of your patent application. We can file this electronically for you, which will provide some cost saving to you. We will issue you a copy of the filing receipt on delivery that will contain your application number and confirmation of the date of filing.
3. Patent search request
We will submit a Form 9A requesting a patent search and we will ensure that your timeline is managed appropriately and that all submissions are made within the 12 month time bar.
4. Preliminary examination
Once you have paid the application fee, a preliminary examination will be completed to make sure your application meets certain formal requirements – the examiner will search through published patents to assess your application. Form 9A searches will be completed within 6 months.
5. Patent application published
Your patent application will be published 18 months from the filing date.
6. Form 10
– substantive examination
This must be completed within six months of patent application to avoid your application being terminated.
7. Patent granted
Your application will be examined and, if all requirements of Patent Act 1977 are met, the patent will be granted. A final form of application will be published and you will receive a certificate.
8. Form 12 – patent renewal
A UK patent gives the owner rights within the UK over an invention for up to 20 years – but only if the patent is kept in force by paying a renewal fee every year. If you do not pay the renewal fee then your patent rights will end. You must complete Form 12 for patent renewal. If you do not pay renewal fees within six months, then your patent will be terminated. If you pay more than one month late, an additional fee will be added on each month until payment or until the six month mark.
International Patent - Patent Cooperation Treaty
PCT is an international treaty with 148 contracting states. The PCT makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single “international” patent instead of filing several separate national or regional patent applications. A PCT does not lead to global patent protection; you still have to apply in some national countries. In order to file an international patent application under the PCT, you must be a national or a resident of a PCT contracting state. The PCT procedure takes approximately 31 months (then undergoes conversion to become national or regional) and includes:
- Filing – you file an international application with a national or regional office complying with the PCT formality requirements, in one language, and you pay one set of fees. This can be filed up to 12 months following the priority application filing date.
- International search – an International Searching Authority (ISA) identifies the published patent documents and technical literature which may have an influence on whether your invention is patentable and establishes a written opinion on your invention’s potential patentability.
- International publication – as soon as possible after 18 months from the earliest filing date, the content of your international application is disclosed to the world.
- Supplementary international search (optional) – a second ISA identifies, at your request, published documents which may not have been found by the first ISA which carried out the main search because of the diversity of prior art in different languages and different technical fields.
- International preliminary search (optional) – one of the ISAs at your request carries out an additional patentability analysis, usually on an amended version of your application.
- National phase – after the end of the PCT procedure (usually about 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application) from which you claim priority, you start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national (or regional) patent offices of the countries in which you want to obtain them.
European Patent Filing
The European Patent Convention makes it possible to obtain patent protection in about 40 European countries on the basis of a single application. The application selects the countries in which protection is required (it makes sense to file a European patent application rather than national applications when protection is sought in at least four European countries). European patent application process consists of two phases: the grant phase and the validation phase. The grant phase begins once the application is filed. During this phase, the application goes through examination and grant procedures at the EPO. The source text will always be in one of the three official languages of the EPO (English, German or French). Once the application text has been approved for the grant, the patent claims must be translated into two other official languages in order to complete the grant formalities. Once the grant formalities have been completed and the granted application is published by the EPO the validation process begins and each applicant must fulfil the filing requirements in each target country within 90 days of the official grant date.
- When granted a European patent gives you protection in the European designated state(s) chosen by you.
- The European Patent Office will charge extra fees for each claim of your patent application in excess of 15 and we would therefore suggest keeping your claims to a minimum where possible to reduce costs.
- EPO will charge for any extra pages over the first 35 in specifications – we would therefore suggest keeping your font size reduced and minimal margins to ensure full capacity of each sheet.
- A European patent application can be backdated to the filing date of an earlier patent if filed within 12 months
- Once the European patent is granted we require to file translations into French and German and to pay the grant and printing fees. The application is only granted and published once these criteria are met.
- If you have been granted European patent you will require to validate the patent in each European country where you seek patent protection.
Renewal fees are payable annually – Global Voices will send you reminders when these payments fall
A single patent which will cover all participating Member States of the EU. Unitary patents will be obtained using the existing European patent application procedure and will be enforceable throughout the participating Member States in a single action brought before the Unified Patents Court. On granting of a European patent the applicant will have three main options:
- Validate the European patent in the usual manner, choosing individual countries where protection is desired.
- Elect to have a unitary patent covering the participating EU Member States.
- Elect to have a unitary patent together with validations for countries which are not participating in the new system.
Direct National Filing or Paris Route
You can directly file separate patent applications at the same time in all of the countries in which you would like to protect your invention (for some countries regional patents may be available), or having filed in a Paris Convention country then file separate patent applications in other Paris Convention countries within 12 months from the filing date of the first patent application.
Alternatively (or in combination with the PCT), the applicant can file directly into the jurisdictions where he is seeking protection. Direct filing is exactly what it sounds like: the applicant prepares distinct sets of forms and files an application into each country directly. Under the Paris Convention an applicant who applies for patent protection in a member country receives the same intellectual property rights as a national of that country would. The actual process of applying for patent protection under the Paris Convention is often called direct filing.
- Global Voices handles all aspects of direct national filing, including preparing any required translations, instructing foreign agents in relevant countries and coordinating all paperwork and fee payments.
- We will ensure you meet all necessary deadlines (i.e. filing within 12 months of priority application filing date).
- Leading experts in the filing procedures and requirements for all countries.
- Translation of your patent application into the language of the specified country.
- Paris Convention covers 174 countries – PCT covers 148.
- Direct filing involves fewer steps than PCT filing.