Patent tradition in Britain can be traced back to the 15th century, when theCrown began to make specific grants of privilege to manufacturers and traders.The earliest known English patent was for a method of making stained glass. Itwas granted directly by king Henry VI to John of Utynam in 1449. This patentgave John a 20-year monopoly for his new method.Henry VI and John of Utynam would be awestruck by the technical and legalcomplexity of today?s United Kingdom patents system. Gone are the days when theking simply granted monopoly rights to an invention. Today?s UK patents processis regulated mainly by the Patents Act of 1977. This legislation has beenupdated over the years, most significantly by the Copyright, Designs and PatentsAct of 1988. The procedural details of the patents system are contained in thePatents Rules of 1995 and subsequent amendments. Today, the Patents CountyCourt, and occasionally the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords, provideinterpretation of these pieces of legislation.Important Points on UK Patents Content and Text
UK Patent Applications will generally contain the same information that isavailable in existing LexisNexis patent files. Data components such as thepatent publication number, issued date, the application number, filed date,inventor name, class, assignee, abstract, detailed description, and claims willappear in UK Patents when they are published by the UK Patent Office. Pleasekeep in mind the following special limitations:
At this time, the UK Patent Office does not provide images of exemplary drawingsof the inventions. Therefore, the UK Patent Applications file on Lexis does notprovide this feature. If these images become available in the future, they willbe provided on Lexis.The UK Patent Office currently publishes the full text of UK PatentsApplications only in hardcopy. In order to create searchable, electronic filesthe hardcopy text is converted to electronic format through an optical scanning(OCR) process. The OCR process is a reliable method of converting documentsinto electronic form; however, some characters may be converted incorrectly.Since the text is not published electronically, it does not contain internalmarkup that identifies tabular material. The tabular material in the UK Patentstext will appear unformatted.Due to errors in some of the older application numbers received from the UKPatent Office, data in the APPL-NO segment may be inaccurate or missing fordocuments dated before 1975. For documents that fall within this date range,lexis.com users may consult the PDF of the Official Patent to identify thecorrect application number. In some patents, the correct application numberappears in the DET-DESC segment.
PLEASE NOTE: On lexis.com and nexis.com, the United Kingdom Patent Applicationfile provides access to the official patent and patent family report in PDFformat. A transactional charge of $5.00 for US patents and $6.00 for non-USpatents is incurred when an active link to the official patent in PDF format isclicked. A transactional charge of $6.00 is incurred when an active link to thepatent family report is clicked. Patent family reports are the same price forboth US and non-US. This charge is NOT included in subscription pricing.Subsequent access to these links until 12:00 AM EST does NOT incur additionalcharges. After that time, the link(s) may appear to be active, but will notretrieve a PDF file.