FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Please use the quick links below to jump to the relevant information:
What is a patent?
When should I patent?
What if I've already published/presented my material?
How long does it take to file a patent?
Does it cost me anything to patent?
What other Intellectual Property rights are there?
Do RIN staff receive any bonus or any share of deals done? 

 

What is a patent?

A patent is a monopoly right, lasting for 20 years, granted by the Government, for the exclusive use of an invention. Patents are enforceable by law and prevent others making, using or selling the invention, without the express permission of the owner. A patent is viewed as ‘property' which, like any other business commodity, may be bought, sold, hired out or licensed.

For further details, please see the RIN Guide to Intellectual Property & Patents.
 

When should I patent?

The timing of making a patent application is crucial for many different reasons. If a patent is filed too early in the development process of the invention, there is a risk that the product may not be fully developed or that the market is not calling for such an invention at that particular time. Similarly if the application is delayed for too long there is a risk that someone else may file a conflicting application which will have priority over your application.

So, if you think that you may have made a patentable invention contact your Project Officer.


What if I've already published/presented my material?

Public disclosure of any invention or commercial opportunity before you have applied for a patent will usually damage the chances of your eventual patent being successful. Even presenting or disclosing information at "internal" meetings or workshops can harm your application. If you have a Confidentiality Agreement in place with all the people you are disclosing information to, then you will at least have a level of protection.

But, as a rule of thumb, if you think you want to patent your invention - speak to a Project Officer before you publish or make that presentation.

 

How long does it take to file a patent?

Our staff are dedicated to helping you file your patent efficiently so we can give it every chance to be successful. This process is wholly dependent on the quality of the application. We would advise that you contact us at the earliest stage of your invention, giving us as much time as possible to work with you in preparing a thorough and quality application. A sensible working time frame for our staff to achieve this would be around 6 weeks - however it is possible to get a much faster turn around when it is urgently required - but this could have a detrimental effect on the quality of the application.

The route to owning a full patent can be quite lengthy, as there are several application stages to complete before the full patent is awarded.

For further details, please see the RIN Guide to Intellectual Property & Patents.
 

Does it cost me anything to patent?

No. As a member of staff developing an invention within your working capacity you are not responsible for any costs pertaining to the application or filing of patents, or the protection of any other Intellectual Property. However, the University's policy, University Intellectual Property Regulations, states that costs of this nature that are incurred by the University during any application or filing will be recouped from any future income made by the invention, through an agreed Royalty Share Scheme.
 

What other intellectual property rights are there?

Intellectual Property includes patents, copyright, design right, registered designs, trade marks and service marks, and all similar property rights (whether registered or not) including those subsisting (in any part of the world) in inventions, designs, drawings, performances, computer programs, semiconductor topographies, plant varieties, confidential information, business names, goodwill and the style of presentation of goods or services and in applications for protection thereof.

For further details, please see the RIN Guide to Intellectual Property & Patents or speak to a Project Officer.
 

Do RIN staff receive any bonus or any share of deals done?

No. All RIN staff are supported by the University.