Many thanks to Gavin Smith, Intellectual Property Development Manager from Research & Enterprise Services, who delivered a clear and informative session about filing patents, and how the University can support researchers wishing to apply for, and license patents based on their research.
Patents are formal (i.e. registered) intangible assets which give the holder a short term monopoly.
- A validation that research is “novel” and “inventive”
- A door-opener to external organisations
- May return impact case studies
- May return industrial income
- May return licensing income
The complete slides are available here, courtesy of the presenter: 20160308_ResearchBites_Patents_GJSmith
Lancaster University researchers have been granted many patents. You can browse a selection on the Research & Enterprise webpage.
A granted patent confirms that the research covered is world-leading, industrially applicable, and totally novel and inventive.
If I give a talk (e.g. at a conference or in the department) and reveal an invention, perhaps in the abstract, would this be considered ‘prior art’? Yes it could, so be careful about how much you reveal, and crucially when you reveal it.
Does the Research & Enterprise Office provide template disclosures? Gavin will work with you to compose the disclosure, so please seek advice early on when considering patents.
Do patents just reward novelty? No, patents also need to demonstrate an ‘inventive step’, not just novelty. They also need to be eligible, and capable of industrial application.
Intellectual Property Office
The UK Intellectual Property Office gives comprehensive advice on patents.
Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest, “Otto’s Patent,” accessed 16 Mar 2016,