Inventors’ Zone

Here at Schlich, we offer our clients all the advice and assistance required to ensure their intellectual property (IP) is captured and maintained as a valuable asset. We are technical experts in many niche fields, but we pride ourselves on our ability to effectively communicate clearly, and without using jargon, on all types of subject-matter with all types of clients.

Protect your ideas

Inventors’ Zone

Our Teams at Schlich are ready to assist you, whether you seek advice and/or assistance with patents, trade marks or designs (or even if you are unsure what help is required).
We are experienced in auditing the IP needs of a business, performing freedom-to-operate, patentability, validity and landscaping searches. We are highly skilled in preparing and filing new patent, trade mark and design applications, handling the sometimes tricky grant process, and then enforcing and defending your granted IP rights.
Rest assured, we will be able to help with any IP-related matter, either directly or through referral in some specialist instances. As a dynamic and enthusiastic team, we are committed to providing the advice that is right for you, regardless of your size or area of business.

Inventors Zone

Success Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What is intellectual property and is it right for me?

Intellectual property (IP) is a general term and includes patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.

IP protection is important as it provides a means to prevent others stealing your ideas or imitating your brand.

IP rights can be enforced to obtain damages and other remedies in the event that another party infringes your rights. However, in many cases this is not required and simply highlighting your IP to another company will prevent them from using your invention / copying your branding.

For further details on how IP rights could benefit your business, please contact us at

What is the difference between a patent, trade mark and registered design?

Put simply, a patent protects how your invention works, a trade mark protects a brand name, slogan or logo, and a design protects the appearance of a product. As such, many of our clients use a combination of patents, trade marks and designs to protect their inventions.

At Schlich, we are experienced in advising our clients of the best strategies to protect their inventions, taking into account the associated costs. We offer a 30 minute initial consultation free of charge, during which we are more than happy to discuss your business’s specific IP needs.

To organise a free initial meeting, or ask a more specific question, please contact us at

How long does it take to get a granted patent?

Obtaining a granted patent can take anything from a few years up to ten years, and in very rare cases even longer. However, in the majority of cases, obtaining a granted UK or European patent takes around five years.

The length of time it takes to obtain a granted patent depends on a number of things, such as the route taken to obtain protection – for example, you can file a patent application ‘direct’ in the country / countries you are seeking protection, or alternatively it is possible to file an international patent application and decide the countries at a later date. There are many advantages to filing an international patent application, however this route does generally take longer than filing ‘direct’.

The countries in which you are seeking protection will also have a significant impact on the length of time it takes to obtain patent protection, since some patent offices are significantly more efficient than others.

For further advice, please get in touch at

What is the cost of filing a new patent application?

The cost of filing a new patent application depends on a number of factors such as the complexity of your invention, in which countries you are interested in protecting your invention, and the amount of detail / assistance you are able to provide during the initial drafting stage.

At Schlich, we always try to be upfront about costs and are happy to provide long term cost estimates on request as we understand that this is an important consideration for many businesses.

Therefore, for further information on the cost of filing a new patent application, as well as the longer term costs of obtaining a granted patent application, please get in contact at

What is the cost of filing a trade mark or registered design application?

As for patent protection, the cost of filing and obtaining trade mark and registered design protection is highly variable depending on, among other things, the jurisdictions in which you are seeking protection.

Therefore, please get in touch at for a detailed cost estimate.

Do I need to keep my invention a secret?

Yes! If you are looking to obtain patent protection, then it is vital your invention remains secret until a patent application is filed. In the vast majority of countries, disclosing your invention prior to filing a patent application destroys the ‘novelty’ of the invention and therefore prevents patent protection being obtained. Some countries offer limited ‘grace periods’ for filing a patent application following disclosure of an invention – however, we never recommend relying on a grace period if this can be avoided.

Secrecy is less essential for trade mark applications and registered design applications; however, we still recommend filing as soon as possible (ideally before disclosing the trade mark / design) to prevent third party rights limiting your options. In the case of designs, a registered design application must be filed within 12 months from first disclosure of the design, therefore publishing your design more than a year before filing a registered design application would still prevent design protection from being obtained.

Please contact us at for more details.

How long do patents, trade marks and registered designs last?

Patent protection lasts 20 years from the date of filing the patent application, however in order to retain patent protection for the full 20 year term, renewal fees will need to be paid. The frequency with which renewal fees will need to be paid depends on the country of patent protection, however in most cases patent renewal fees are annual.

In most countries, trade mark protection can last indefinitely, however similarly to patents renewal fees must be paid in order to maintain trade mark protection. In the UK and EU, these trade mark renewal fees are due every 10 years.

The duration of design protection is more variable than trade mark or patent protection, however UK and EU registered design protection lasts for 25 years, subject to the payment of renewal fees every 5 years.

For more details, please get in touch at

Get in touch

Carolyn Palmer - Schlich

Our team of UK and European Patent Attorneys and Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys are highly knowledgeable and experienced in assisting clients with all aspects of their IP needs.

Contact us now to find out more about how we could help you and your business.