Most companies will not look at outside ideas unless an application for protection has been obtained.

There are three statutory forms of IP protection: design patents, trademarks and copyrights.

You can hire an agent registered to practise before the UK Patent office to provide this service for you for a fee. You can also seek advice about securing ‘unregistered’ design protection recently introduced by the EU. Meanwhile, it is important that you document your idea and put the original documentation in a safe place. You may want to keep an ‘invention ledger’: a bound notebook to record all pertinent information regarding the steps you have taken to protect your idea, a file for legal documents, cancelled cheques, sales receipts etc. Keep this ledger up to date. Include a description and sketch of the product, its elements and how it works. If you make a prototype, photograph or videotape it and keep a copy with the ledger.

For further information visit the Product Licensing section.

Useful links:

The Patent Office