How to Patent an Idea

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Patent application

The Ultimate Guide on How To Patent an Idea

So you’ve come up with a great invention idea that you are ready to patent?
Now you’re probably desperate to solicit advice on how to bring this new concept to reality, but you’re wary of lacking the proper protection of the idea and potentially getting it stolen in the process.

To patent an idea, you apply to the UK Intellectual Property Office (formerly known as the Patent Office) by completing a patent application form and drafting the patent specification. It is, however, recommended to do a worldwide patent search beforehand.

Step 1. Complete Form 1

Form 1 is available on the UK Government Website

Step 2. Draft Patent Specification

A patent specification may include the following parts:

a-Written description of idea
b- Drawings to illustrate and refer to the description
c- List of claims that define the novel technical features
d-An abstract that summarises the content of the specification

Step 3. Submit the patent application

The submission includes both the application Form 1 and the drafted patent specification to the Patent Office (for the UK this is typically the ‘UK IPO’, either by post or online).

Step 4.  Filing receipt

Once your submission has been received by the UK IPO they will issue a receipt which confirms the filing date and provides a patent application number. This will give your idea “Patent Pending” status.

Need a hand?

Innovate Product Design is here to walk you through the process of how to patent  and/or progess an idea, from searching for existing patents, to the different types of protections available, to the associated costs and applications required for the route ultimately chosen.  Innovate offers low cost design-led solutions to patent an idea that suits individuals’ need to kickstart their project.

Some of the questions that you may ask yourself before patenting an idea:

      • Have you kept your idea secret?
      • Is my idea novel?
      •  Is your product sufficiently developed, designed or prototyped?
      •  Is it commercially viable?


Different forms of protection.

Is your idea best protected via a patent, a registered design, a trade mark (registered or unregistered), or a copyright? Find out how to decide which option is best for your idea by visiting our Vital Info page.

Is my idea novel?

How do you patent an idea? The 1st step is a comprehensive search for similar patents to ensure that a concept is globally unique and thereby whether and how it may be patentable. Learn more here Patent Search.

Costs to Patent an Idea

Learn about how much it costs, varying types of patent applications, and what the examination and grant timelines are like. Patent Advice available here.

Patent Application Process To the IPO (UK patent office)

A patent is a legal document that can last up to 20 years so specific wording is exceptionally important. Get tips on how to apply to the Intellectual Property Office and what to include on our Patent Application process page.

Trademark an Idea

Learn about how a registered Trade Mark can protect a word, symbol, or logo used in trade and associated with your product throughout the U.K. or E.U. at our Trade Marks page.

Design Registration

A registered design can be more relevant and can combine with or be more relevant (and can provide faster protection than) patenting an idea depending on the product specs. Learn more on our Registered Designs page.

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