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A Patent protects inventions for products or processes. The invention must not have been thought of before, must be inventive and must be capable of industrial application. 

You have to apply to the Intellectual Property Office to register a patent and these last for 20 years. They are in exchange for public disclosure so that others are free to use your invention once the monopoly term has expired.

There are types of invention that are excluded from being patentable. These include:

  • Aesthetic creations
  • The presentation of information
  • Schemes carried out mentally
  • Discoveries of natural or physical phenomena
  • Methods of surgery, diagnosis and therapy where the method is practised directly on the body (methods diagnosis or therapy are not excluded in the USA)
  • Plant and animal varieties and essentially biological ways for producing them
  • Inventions which are offensive or immoral


 info.png​For additional patent information please visit the patents section of the UK Intellectual Property Office.

 Did you know you can search for patents yourself at the following sites?


Each country has its own IP patent database so you can always do a country specific search too.

Research, Innovation & Enterprise Support 

You can only obtain a patent or any IPR with University Approval. This occurs via the Innovation Panel Process

Please get in touch with the Business Engagement and Innovation Team to help you with this or for any further queries regarding Intellectual Property (IP) and you IP rights.