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Getting a patent

Remember the golden rule: never publicly disclose your invention, as prior disclosure could make it impossible to get a patent. Therefore, we recommend that you always talk to a patent agent first. At MacLachlan & Donaldson, we are committed to helping you decide on the right commercial patenting strategy for your business.

Patents must be sought on a country-by country basis, and there is no such thing as a “worldwide patent”. Irrespective of where you need protection, always remember that golden rule.

How do I get a patent?

To get a patent, you must file a patent application and technical specification document, with drawings where appropriate. This must be filed in the Patents Office for each country where protection is sought. This specification is a legal document that describes the invention in detail and sets out the scope of protection for the invention. Preparing this document is a skilled job that should always be done in consultation with your patent agent.

Once an application is filed in Ireland or the UK, or any other country that is a member of the Paris Convention, the date of the first filing is recognised as a ‘priority date’ for that invention in all of the Paris Convention countries. Applications in other countries can be filed up to 12 months from the first filing and still claim that priority date.