Submission guidance

Research & report submission guidance.

Here’s a list of questions, 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 similarly for guidance only.

Information can be as detailed as you like, as long as we get a good working grasp of your idea or invention. If we need clarification on anything we’ll email you.

For any queries about what to include/exclude, feel free to ask via

About your idea

1 Describe your idea

We need to understand the idea overall and your inventive step(s) in particular. Attached drawings, photos etc can be a big help.

2 If you have a published patent application, what is its number? (Don’t worry if this doesn’t apply to you)

By ‘published’ we mean publicly viewable on Espacenet etc. 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 the likely buyers or users of your proposed product or service?

If buyers and users are not necessarily the same people, tell us which market you think will buy/use it first and which will later become the main market.

About you

6 What relevant skills, experience or resources do you have?

If you’re part of a team, give brief details of the range of expertise available. We don’t need names or CVs. Also indicate any necessary skills or expertise that you think you might need.

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?

9What 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?

10Any other information you think is relevant

For example, it may be relevant to know the circumstances that led you to your idea.