PATENT SEARCH: The information and services you can probe, include:
- Checking if a patent similar to your invention already exists.
- Checking whether patents are available to license.
- Tracking the progress of a published patent application.
You Can Get Help From:
- An advisor at the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.
- One of the Patent Library Centres (they have qualified staff to help you).
Note: Read more about patenting your invention if this will be the first time you are making an application.
Searching for a UK Patent
The Intellectual Property Office provides several different ways to make a search for published patent applications and registered patents.
Note: If you have the correct number, you will be able to make a Supplementary Protection Certificate Search through the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
But, separate lists exist for searches of:
- Published Green Channel Patent Applications
- Patents Endorsed Licence of Right (LOR) (e.g. those you can license to use)
- Patents Not in Force (NIF) (e.g. those expired or withdrawn)
New Patent Applications (and amended patents)
You can search information on filed applications from journals dating from October 2006 in the patents journal. It contains updated details of new UK patent applications and changes made to the register (every Wednesday).
Search for Worldwide Patents
An Espacenet patent search allows you to look for published patent applications and for registered patents. The comprehensive database includes worldwide UK patents as well as further details about:
- Ownership (e.g. owners of patents)
- Filed documents
- The countries where the patent actually applies
Search for Results of Patent Decisions
You can make searches for decisions from previous patent hearings. Finding patent hearing decisions can help you defend your intellectual property following intellectual property disputes.
Determining the decisions and outcomes from similar cases can help you to:
- Decide whether you should dispute a patent
- Prepare your case for a patent hearing
Note: The IPO online services allow you to search for patent hearings from 1998 onwards. They list the decisions made before 1998 by year only, so they would need to be searched manually.