Approximately eighteen months after the first application was filed, the application is published, together with the search report if available.
You can stop publication if you wish to do so by withdrawing your application at any point up to about 1 month before the date scheduled for publication. However, if the search report was favourable and the chances of obtaining a patent are good, you will probably decide to proceed with the application to the next stage: prosecution.
Within six months of publication, a formal "Request for Examination" must be filed and an examination fee paid.
The application then goes back to an Examiner who will in most cases issue an "Official Letter" detailing any objections to the application. The only fundamental objections which normally arise are that, in the Examiner's view, the invention is not new, or, if new, is merely an obvious departure from what is already known. There may then follow a complicated series of discussions between you, us and the Patent Office and it is likely that amendments to your patent specification will be agreed.
On successful completion of the "prosecution" stage, the application is accepted and published again, this time as a granted patent.
Once the patent is four years old, renewal fees become payable annually to maintain the patent in force. We keep a system to ensure that you are reminded in good time before each renewal fee is due.
TPT provide a fixed price service for preparing the initial UK patent application. Details of this service are available on request.
It is important to understand that the process of applying for a patent is complex and can extend over a number of years. Further official fees need to be paid and almost always there will costs in dealing with official objections. An average case is likely to cost three or four times the initial cost before a patent is granted. Even then, renewal fees need to be paid annually.
Foreign patent protection can be quite expensive if wide geographical cover is required. An indication of costs can be given on request.