Research and report submission guidance
Here’s a list of questions, the answers to which will help us research your idea. You don’t have to stick to our format – on the actual submission form use the text boxes to provide any information you want – but from experience this is a useful structure.
The comments after each question are also for guidance only.
Information can be as detailed as you like, as long as we get a good grasp of your idea or invention. If we really need more information we’ll ask, but that could delay our research and your report.
For any queries about what to include/exclude, feel free to ask using the form below.
About your idea
1 …Describe your idea
•…Include enough detail to enable us to understand both the idea overall and your inventive step(s) in particular.
•…If you wish, attach drawings, photos, draft patent applications etc to clarify the idea.
2 …If you have a published patent application, what is its number?
•…By ‘published’ we mean publicly viewable on databases such as Espacenet.
•…By ‘number’ we mean the one prefixed by GB, EP, WO, US etc.
3 …What makes you think your idea is original?
If you’ve already done some prior art searching, tell us briefly what you did.
4 …What factors make your idea better than competing or alternative products?
Don’t say there are no competing or alternative products! They can include whatever people currently use or do in the absence of your idea.
5 …Who are likely to be the buyers of your proposed product or service?
Tell us briefly about any market research you’ve done so far.
6 …What relevant skills, experience or resources do you have to develop your idea?
If you’re part of a team, give brief details of the range of expertise available. Also indicate any necessary skills or expertise that are not yet available.
7 …How would you prefer to exploit or commercialise your idea?
For example, by licensing to a company or starting your own business.
About progress to date
8 …What have you done so far to develop your idea?
•…Is it a recent idea or one you’ve been working on for some time? Give us a brief history or timeline.
•…If you’re now ‘stuck’, what do you think the problem is?
9 …What have you done so far to fund your idea?
•…Will you need external funding or investment?
•…If you’ve approached organisations or companies for support, what reactions have you had?
10…Any other information you think is relevant.