Cube3 has the experience to help all clients understand and gain the appropriate amount of intellectual property (IP) protection for their products.
We can help you to navigate this road and oversee the process of design registration and patents. We work with several Patent attorneys but would be happy to liaise with one of your choosing. We also assist in ensuring the features being patented are worthy of a patent and provide line drawings and engineering support where needed. We also carry out initial patent search reports to identify if a patent is worth pursuing further.
This is free and protects the shape and configuration of a product. It lasts for 10 years after the product was first sold and 15 years after it was created. This is for the UK only. In the EU, a product will be protected for 3 years from the date it was made public. This offers very limited protection.
This applies to the appearance of a product including its shape, packaging, patterns, colours and decoration. It makes it easier to prove that the design is legally yours and when it was created. It last for 5 years but it can be renewed for additional 5 years up to a maximum of 25 years. It is affordable at £50 for a single design and £150 for up to 50 designs.
This can only be granted to products or inventions that are new or novel to the world, innovative and not an obvious change to something that already exists or a combination of existing ideas. Adding a task light to a hammer for banging in nails in the dark will not cut the mustard!
A UK patent will enable the holder to take legal action against a person or company infringing on the claims made in the patent and if successful, stop the sale or production of the offending product. Once the patent application has been filed, the product can be marked with ‘Patent Pending’. This notifies the public that an IP protection is being pursued and could be granted in the future. This provides some deterrent to copying until the patent is granted giving full protection. Once granted, the patent lasts five years after which it can be renewed every year for a further 20 years.
Patents can be applied for in the UK, EU and rest of the world generally but can be targeted to specific countries. The larger the area covered, the more costly it becomes. There are on-going costs to owning a patent and you should consider how you would defend a patent should someone infringe it.
The government wants to encourage the commercialisation of IP – the Patent Box is a scheme to do this. It allows companies to pay a lower rate of Corporation Tax on profits from the sale of patented products. Patent Box can used only if the company owns or has exclusive rights to the patents, makes profits from exploiting patented inventions and, unsurprisingly, pays Corporation Tax.