Innovators given 90-day promise on patents

Innovators seeking to protect their creations will be able to get patents granted in around 90 days under new plans unveiled by officials.

Publishing a consultation last week, the Intellectual Property Office said it wanted individuals and companies to feedback on how the ‘superfast’ patent processing service should work.

Although the IPO said its free acceleration service allows a patent to be granted within 12 months, it acknowledged that applicants could benefit, such as by taking important commercial decisions, if the wait was shortened.

“Inspiration and inventive thoughts can emerge at any time, but acting on them quickly can often be the catalyst for making a real difference to the success or otherwise of an idea,” said Lord Young, minister for IP.

Areas for comment in the 8-week consultation include the principles on which the superfast patent processing service could be based; the conditions for its use and how it should operate in practice, including in terms of fees.

“Currently it can take a number of years to gain patent protection,” officials reflected. “However the IPO recognises that this timescale may not suit everyone’s needs.”

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