Matt Dixon (Partner) gives expert video advice on: If my invention is known overseas, can I patent it in the UK?; Will my patent be worldwide?; What is a European patent? and more...
If my invention is known overseas, can I patent it in the UK?
If your invention is known in another country that means that it's already known, because the test in the UK to decide whether something is new or not is a world-wide test. So that means that your invention that's known overseas counts against you in the UK, and you wouldn't be able to get a patent in the UK.
Will my patent be worldwide?
In general, patents apply in the country in which they're filed. So if you want to patent in any given country, you need to apply in that country and there is no such thing as a worldwide patent.
What is a European patent?
A European patent is a patent granted by the European Patent Office. And the patent application is examined centrally by an examiner, usually in Munich or in the Hague, who will then issue an examination report and will grant the patent once he's satisfied that it meets all the requirements. Once the European patent is granted, it's turned into national patents in the individual states you choose as the owner of the patent. And you often need to have a translation into the international language. So, on grant, it can be relatively expensive, but up until grant, it can be relatively cost effective to get Europe-wide protection.