Intellectual Property is the overall term that refers to all forms of idea protection: patents, design rights,copyright and trade marks. Intellectual Property law can assign certain rights to the creator of: music, literature, artistic works, discoveries, inventions, designs and logos. In its literal sense, it is the property of your mind, or intellect, and, as such, can be claimed as your own and used in a similar way to commercial property: Intellectual Property can be bought, sold, licensed and even mortgaged.

The UK Patent Office is now called the UK Intellectual Property Office to affirm that they help with all forms of idea protection in the UK - not just patents!

We send you two copies of a signed Confidentiality Agreement before you disclose the idea to us. This is a legally binding agreement that prevents us from disclosing the idea to any third party. Each party retains one copy of the agreement signed by both parties. We also adhere to the regulations of the BSI standards governing our industry: BS8538:2011 Specification for the provision of services relating to the commercialization of intellectual property rights.

This is a legally binding document that protects your idea. We will never ask for details of an idea until one of these has been completed and signed by ourselves and the inventor. It means we cannot take the idea further without the permission of the inventor.

If your idea is original and feasible and has a clear market then it is more likely to succeed. Sapience offers is an initial review to help establish if the idea is viable. We specialise in helping inventors progress from a rough sketch to a protected, developed concept that is ready to sell to a company.

Possibly. Firstly you would need to know what costs there may be in developing the project so you can calculate the funding level required. It will also depend at which stage you require funding and what opportunities are available to your project. A Client Manager can advise you on this. Sapience do not fund any projects themselves.

I have conducted a Google search and I am sure my idea doesn't exist; do I still need to do a Patent Search?

Yes. You can never be certain your idea does not exist based on market searches. Patent searches include all applications ever filed, whether granted or not, as these all affect your application. This means that not all patent applications are marketed products.

It is unlikely that you will be able to conduct a conclusive search and correctly interpret the results without prior experience of the patenting system. Many online databases are incomplete or inaccessible to foreign applications. Using a professional researcher can pay dividends in the long run.

No. You cannot patent a business idea unless it involves a new product idea. You also cannot patent a scientific or mathematical discovery, theory or method; a way of playing a game; a book, drama, piece of music or artistic work.

No. The idea is in the public domain and cannot be patented here.

"Patent Pending" means that an application for a patent has been filed at the UK Intellectual Property Office (previously known as the Patent Office). It is the same as "Patent Applied For." There are laws preventing people using these phrases if it is not true. These phrases do not mean that the patent has been granted nor does it mean that it will be granted.

The patent can be maintained for a maximum of twenty years.

No. The most far reaching international patent application is the PCT which covers 142 countries.