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Procedures After You Apply for a Patent

There are several important actions to be aware of after filing your patent application. In some cases, you might need to file more documents once the patent is pending.

You can also choose to withdraw your application altogether or make a new application with a priority date. Find out what happens to terminated applications and how international patents work.

AFTER YOU APPLY: The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will send you a receipt.

The IPO receipt will show your application number and your filing date (i.e. the date they received the application).

A letter also explains what you should do next and when to do it.

You will be able to mark your invention as ‘patent pending’ after applying (or ‘patent applied for’ if you prefer).

A simple way of doing it is to add the patent number and state that you applied for it in the United Kingdom. You can also use a website address instead if your patent number is an online one.

You would need to ensure the patent number, as well as the product that it relates to, are both in clear view on the website if you are using a web address.

If the IPO grant you a patent:

  • They will publish your application in its final form.
  • Send you a certificate of confirmation.
  • They will publish your application in its final form.
  • Send you a certificate of confirmation.

Note: Further responsibilities apply after filing a patent application. For example, you have to renew a patent to keep it valid. You may also need to defend your intellectual property in cases of infringement.

Filing Additional Documents

In some cases, you may need to file documents for a pending UK patent during the ongoing phase. For instance, you might need to upload a form to request a search, or an additional document with extra description claims).

Note: You need to send claims, abstract, application fee, and the search fee within twelve (12) months of the filing date.

So, what if the application includes a ‘priority date’ from an earlier application? In this case, you would need to send the claims, abstract, application fee, and the search fee within (whichever is later):

  • Two (2) months of the current filing date.
  • One (1) year of the date you filed the previous application (also termed as the ‘priority date’).
How to Withdraw a Patent Application

You can choose to withdraw your patent application for any reason (e.g. to stop it going public). You can request a withdrawal up to the day before the deadline date stated in the search report.

Note: You would need to withdraw the application before the IPO publishes it to stop the invention entering into the public domain.

Withdrawing an Application by Email

Insert your patent application number into the subject line if you withdraw an application by email. Remember to state that you want to WITHDRAW it in the main content of the email.

The IPO would need to see that you have authority to withdraw it. So, for example add some text stating that you are either the applicant or an agent acting for them.

Withdrawing by Post or by Fax

If you withdraw it by post or by fax, you should mark the request as URGENT if there will be less than three (3) weeks to publication.

Intellectual Property Office
Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 0300 300 2000
Fax: 01633 817777
Information on call charges.

Intellectual Property Office
Concept House
Cardiff Road
South Wales
NP10 8QQ
United Kingdom

Making a New Patent Application (with priority date)

It is not uncommon for inventors to change a patent application. For example, there may be new information or extra developments to an invention since the first application.

Either way, you can choose to withdraw your patent application and then reapply at a later date for any reason.

Making the new application within 12 months means you can use the ‘priority date’ (the filing date) of the earlier application.

Terminating Applications

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have the right to terminate applications. Even so, termination is only likely to happen if an applicant fails to submit the correct documents, forms, and a payment (when requested to do so).

As a rule, you can reinstate an application for patenting an invention if you apply again within one (1) year of the termination.

would be able to put your case to a senior official.

If so, you would need to show why it failed to meet the requirements and:
  • An explanation that shows the failure was unintentional.
  • At what point you became able to meet the requirements.

Note: Last time we checked the cost to reapply is £150. This particular fee is not refundable.

How to Reinstate an Application

You can download Form 14 to request to reinstate a patent application. Fill it in and return it with the fee and any supporting evidence to the IPO address.

If the IPO grant your new request you would then need to meet the requirements within two (2) months.

Note: You can request ex parte hearing procedures if you cannot reach agreement with a patent examiner over your patent application. You would be able to put your case to a senior official.

International Patents

Only having UK patent protection means others might be able to use your intellectual property overseas of the United Kingdom without infringing your rights.

Thus, patent protection of an invention only occurs in the country where the patent is granted or registered. To get IP protection overseas, you may be able to:

Note: The video has IPO guidance on filing a patent abroad. You can also read further information on protecting your UK intellectual property abroad in several GOV.UK publications.

What Happens After You Apply for a Patent in United Kingdom