top of page

Information-hub/Patents/How do you file a Patent

How to file a Patent

To file a patent, you need to produce a patent application, a document that discloses the spirit and the technical aspects of the invention. A Patent application is made up of four parts :

  • A written description.

  • Accompanying drawings that correspond with the description.

  • A list of claims that define the distinctive technical features of the invention.

  • An abstract’ that provides a summary of the important technical aspects of the invention.

Filing the application with the UK IPO​

Filing a patent with the IPO is relatively straight-forward. All that’s required is for Form 1 ‘Request for grant of a Patent’ to be completed and forwarded together with the patent application to the UK IPO. When the UK IPO receives the application they will respond by issuing a filing receipt which includes the application number and the ‘filing date’ of the application.

Requesting the application to be searched

Within 12 months of the filing the application, a request for the patent to be searched needs to be made. This means the IPO will check the application compiles with formal requirements and will undertake a search of published patents and documents to see whether or not the invention is new and inventive.

Once the IPO have concluded their search, they will issue a search report, highlighting, if any, prior patents and documents that are similar to the invention. The search report generally takes approx. six months to process.



Shortly after 18 months from the filing date of the application, the IPO will publish the application in the Patents Journal and will list the application on the IPOs public records. At which point the application and all relevant correspondence will be matter of public record and freely available for anyone to view.

Requesting a substantive examination​

Within 6 months of the publication of the application, a request for substantive examination needs to be made. This means the IPO will conduct a full and detailed examination of the application to see if it meets the legal requirements. During the substantive examination process, the IPO will examine the application in detail and make it known what, if anything, needs to be amended to the application in order for the application to proceed forward.

Obtaining a grant​

If the application meets all the requirements of the patents Act 1977, the IPO will grant the patent and will publish the grant in the Patent Journal, list the grant on the IPOs public records and will provide a certificate of grant.

Maintaining the patent

A granted patent in remains in force for 20 years, just as long as renewal fees are paid each year to keep it in force. Failure to meet the pay the renewal fees within the given time limits, can result in the grant being terminated.

bottom of page