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Protecting Ideas

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We Help People with Great Ideas

Every day people call us with the question "I've had a great idea - what do I do now?"
 
This is the place to find out. There are three main ingredients to a successful idea.
 
It has to work, it has to be unique, and it has to meet a market need.
  
We can check your idea works, show you how to protect it, and help you identify the market. Our Discovery Service includes a Worldwide Patent Search
 
We have helped over 10,000 people just like you with our Discovery Service.
 
Get started by looking at the Discovery Pack to get access to free services and our help.
 
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Expand Text  Getting Started

How to get started with a new idea


Prepare a description of your idea including simple drawings if it is a product. You need to get it down on paper for your own benefit before you talk to anyone else.
 
It doesn’t need to be complicated. Just get the essential facts clear. Incidentally you get automatic copyright protection for any documents, descriptions, drawings, photographs and CAD representations that you create.
 
Our Information Pack explains how to describe your idea. If you want to get a patent for your idea we can help with Patent Searches and advice.

 There may be simpler and cheaper ways of protecting your idea and we can advise you.

Check to make sure the idea works and is new


Check that the idea has not already been implemented by someone else with a Patent Search, and that it works technically if it is a product.
 
Our Discovery Service can check all this out for you.  If you need help with your idea from other people make sure that you use a Confidentiality Agreement. You can get an example agreement from our free online services.

Make sure that the rights in any design work or prototypes that you buy are assigned back to you. By default they belong to the Designer.
Open-Close Section  Protect the Idea

Protect the idea to be sure it is yours


Decide on a plan to protect the idea and ensure that it remains yours. It is important to do this first.
 
You could easily lose the rights to your idea. It may be impossible to do anything about it if you leave it until later.

You could protect the function, appearance, and name of the idea or product. Click here to find out more.

You may also need to check the availability of web site names and company names as well as trade marks to avoid conflicts.

You should use confidentiality agreements until you have intellectual property protection in place. We can help with all this as part of our Discovery Service.
 

Choose the right kind of protection


 Protecting ideas need not be very expensive and the cost can often be spread over time.

Our page on protecting ideas explains the different types of protection and when you should use them.
  
The Patent Office fees are currently £280 for a Patent, £60 for a Registered Design and from £200 for a Trade Mark or brand name.
Click here for the Patent Office Guides and Forms.

Of course there may be other costs for professional help with these and for designs and prototypes.
 
This is why it is vital to use our Discovery Service to establish that the idea is viable before spending money. 
Open-Close Section  Minimise the Risks

Minimise the risks

You should not spend any significant amount of money unless there is a reasonable chance of getting it back. Make sure that the idea is protected by Confidentiality Agreements or Intellectual Property protection. Have a look at the Patent Office Video Guides.
 
Don’t make expensive prototypes or buy stock for sale before you have someone seriously interested in buying the idea and you have it protected. This way you can minimise your risks.