What is a patent?

A patent protects new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. A patent gives you the ability to take legal action to try to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling and importing your invention without your permission.

What can I do with it?

The patent also allows you to:

  • Sell the invention and associated intellectual property rights
  • License the invention to someone else, but retain ownership and certain rights in the IP
  • Discuss the invention with others in order to set up a business based around the invention


The invention must be new; have an inventive step that is not obvious to someone with knowledge and experience in the subject; and be capable of being made or used in some kind of industry.

The invention must not be a scientific or mathematical discovery, theory or method; a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work; a way of performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business; the presentation of information, or some computer programs; an animal or plant variety; a method of medical treatment or diagnosis against public policy or morality.

What are the fees and timescales?

Fees – a UK patent application costs between £230 and £280 (although this can rise substantially if lawyer’s fees or potential challenges are taken into account)

Timescales – the application process usually takes 4-5 years

How do patents apply to me?

If you are an IP-rich, R&D driven company, chances are patents make up an integral part of your overall business strategy. Metis Partners can provide strategic assistance to your company, from conducting IP Audits and IP Due Diligence assignments in order to ascertain the strength of not only your patents, but the additional IPRs (such as organisational knowledge or trade secrets) supporting them, to IP Management services ensuring that your company’s patenting activities are aligned with its overall strategic plan. We can also assist you in commercialising or selling parts of your patent portfolio which no longer underpin your business’s core offering, providing additional capital for your business.

Photo credit: Michael Neubert (Cropped)