Saturday 2 November 2019

How to use Patent, Trade Mark and Registered Design Databases

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Jane Lambert

On Friday 29 Nov 2019 I shall give a free class on how to search for patents, trade marks and registered designs and how to use the information that may be uncovered.  It will take place at the Menai Science Park (M-SParc) at Gaerwen on Anglesey between 13:30 and 14:30. Possibly this will be one of the most useful talks that you ever attend.

The patent, trade mark and design databases kept by the world's intellectual property offices contain a massive volume of technical, scientific and commercial information which is free to use for just about anyone, anywhere in the world.  All you need to know is where to look and how to use the information that you find.

As you know, patents are granted for inventions that are new and involve an inventive step.  Similarly, designs can be registered if they are new and have individual character.  Finally, signs can be registered as trade marks if they can distinguish one business's goods or services from those of all others.  Patent, trade mark and registered design prosecution is not cheap.  You can save yourself lots of money, time and grief by checking what has already been registered before you apply to register an intellectual property right that is either refused or taken away after it has been granted.

But that is not the only reason why folk search patent and other IP databases.  Because an applicant for a patent has to disclose his or her invention in a manner which is clear enough and complete enough for the invention to be performed by a person skilled in the art every specification is in effect an instruction manual. Every patent database is in a massive library of scientific and technical literature.  Of course,, patent specifications have to follow certain formalities.  I shall show you how to read the specifications so that you can unlock and use the information.

Even if you have no plans for patenting an invention knowing how to search a patent or other IP rights database can still be useful.  The registers can tell you a lot about the business of a competitor, supplier or customer.  The classes for which a company has registered a trade mark will indicate the business that it hopes to develop in the next few years.  The designs register may even indicate what its new products will look like so you can take steps to take advantage of any opportunities that may be created or counter challenges that be laid.

While I cannot make you experts within an hour I can at least tell you where you can get further assistance either free of charge of for a  modest additional fee. These include the Business and IP Centres that partner the British Library in London and the Intellectual Property Office in Newport and the Patent Information Units around the country.

As I shall be making online searches you may want to bring your own laptop, tablet, smartphone or other devices to the event.  Free wifi is available at the science park so you will be able to follow what I do online.

If you want to attend, you need only click this Eventbrite link to register.  Should you want to find out more you can call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

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