Protecting technical inventions through a thorough understanding of the inventive technology and the commercial strategy of the business.
We are very aware of the need to translate every possible aspect of our client's ingenuity into a protectable right. To this end, we aim to work closely with the inventor towards a common goal, and adopt a pro-active role in developing a complete understanding of the invention and its alternatives.
As scientists with various academic specialities, our team of patent attorneys has a thorough experience of a wide range of technologies. Through many years of practicing before the UK Patent Office, the European Patent Office, and Patent Offices in other countries, we have a first hand knowledge of how to prepare patent specifications and surmount the various obstacles that may be raised before a patent is granted.
Our advice is also commercially realistic, to help ensure patenting makes sense for you and fits in with your business strategy, budget and timescales.
Having a patent also enables you to sell or license your invention to other companies, and may help you to secure investment, allowing you to increase the return on your investment in developing the invention. A patent can last for up to twenty years. When it expires, others are free to use your invention and benefit from your good ideas.
We have both first-class patent attorneys and top-tier UK litigators under one roof.
Our patent litigation team has a wealth of experience in all forms of dispute resolution, including litigation in the Patents Court and the IPEC, oppositions in the EPO, arbitration and mediation, with a proven track record of success. Our patent attorneys, who have technical expertise across the spectrum of the major technologies, work together with our litigators, as needed, to achieve that success in court proceedings. The Unified Patent Court (UPC)
Patent disputes are often multi-jurisdictional. As well as our own offices in Ireland and Hong Kong, we are able to draw upon our extensive network in Europe, the US and Asia with whom our patent team collaborate to achieve the common goal of a successful outcome for our clients.
We pride ourselves on being cost effective and we strive to help our clients find the right solution if a dispute arises. If that involves litigation in court, we know that the very large legal teams so often seen in London are generally unnecessary and risk leading to a lack of a coherent strategy. At Lewis Silkin, we work with our clients to develop a focused strategy and implement it in a proactive manner.
The Unified Patent Court (UPC)
The EU Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Courts are now active. Concerned about opt-outs? Considering whether or not a Unitary Patent is right for your business? Just want to know more? At Lewis Silkin our patent prosecutors and litigators will be delighted to help, so please contact us for a free consultation.
You can download The Unified Patent Court into one of the following languages:
- The Unified Patent Court (February 2023)
- The Unified Patent Court (February 2023) - Japanese
- The Unified Patent Court (February 2023) - Mandarin
- The Unified Patent Court (February 2023) - Korean
You can also download our Unitary Patent insight here:
How to protect your invention in other countries
You need a separate patent for each country where you wish to protect your invention. So, for example, a UK patent can be used to stop people copying your invention in the UK, or importing it into the UK from elsewhere, but it can’t be used to stop a competitor making and selling your invention in another country.
You can file applications for overseas patents up to 12 months after you file a UK patent application for the same invention, and they still get the benefit of the initial UK filing date. So we usually advise a UK applicant to file here first and delay the cost of overseas applications until 12 months later.
You can use this 12 month period to review the commercial potential of the invention and perhaps to secure funding. We also recommend some patent searching during this period to get a better idea of whether the invention is patentable and the likely scope of protection.
Although patenting in a number of countries can be complex and costly, there are two systems which simplify the procedure and reduce (or at least delay) the costs involved.
The European patent system allows you to file a single patent application covering a large number of European countries. This application is searched and examined as a single entity, which saves time and money. Once granted, the European patent is converted into separate national patents in all the countries of interest.
PCT (international) patent applications
By using the “PCT” (Patent Co-operation Treaty) system, you can file a single patent application which effectively reserves your right to file applications in most of the major industrial countries of the world.
Eventually, about two and a half years from the date of your very first patent application, you convert your single PCT application into separate national patent applications in all the countries of interest. (This can include a European application.) Each of those applications is then searched and examined separately and will eventually result in a separate national patent.
The PCT system offers a cost effective means of keeping your options open in a large number of countries, for long enough to assess the commercial value of your invention and the likely success of your patent applications.
Our international focus
Our firm has a strong international focus. We work and lecture extensively in the US and Asia, in particular Japan, as well as Europe. This experience helps us to understand the specific requirements of each country and the vital cultural differences in intellectual property work around the world.
We regularly travel to the European Patent Office in support of our clients’ patent rights, and have an excellent success rate in oppositions and other contentious matters.
Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC)02 March 2023
The German government has now ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC), meaning that the UPC will become operational on 1 June 2023.
What you need to know about Brexit and patents Paul Williams and Michael Szlesinger write for IAM09 December 2020
In this article for IAM, Paul Williams and Michael Szlesinger outline some changes that patent applicants and practitioners have to look forward to in the new year.
Will the EU’s SPC manufacturing waiver weaken European pharma’s IP? Paul Williams writes for Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review29 May 2020
Despite dire warnings by the US Chamber of Commerce, the impact of the EU’s SPC waiver won’t be known for years, writes Paul Williams.
EPO and EUIPO extend deadlines in response to COVID-19 pandemic02 April 2020
As you will have seen, governments across Europe have issued a range of recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Patents and your business30 January 2020
Whilst patents have always been a key asset for many businesses, increasingly more of our clients are realising that this form of IP provides opportunities for both commercial success and keeping competitors at bay.
UK and EU Registered Designs31 July 2019
What can be protected by a registered design right?