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Inventor clinics

The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) holds regular clinics at a number of sites around the UK, giving advice to inventors who are at the early stages of developing an idea. Inventions and problems can be discussed in confidence with chartered patent attorneys for 30 minutes, free of charge.

For further details, see CIPA website.

Enterprise Europe Network

The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) offers information and advice on intellectual property and patents. EEN works closely with specialist organisations that help small businesses to use intellectual property rights to protect and profit from their ideas and innovation. It can also help to find new markets and export opportunities. For further details, see EEN website.

Patent Information Centres (PATLIBs)

PATLIBs are European libraries and information centres that provide information about patents, trademarks, copyright and design rights. Many also offer guidance on how to make the best use of patent databases so you can assess whether an invention is new.

Some PATLIBs in the UK hold clinics where you can have a free consultation with a patent attorney or a business adviser.

For further details, see PATLIB information.

The British Library

The Business and Intellectual Property Centre at the British Library gives you access to the information you need to develop and market your ideas. Full details about patents, trademarks and designs are held alongside a large collection of market-research reports, trade journals and business databases. Specialists are on hand to help you identify the most useful information sources and search them effectively. They can also carry out in-depth research for an agreed fee. Free clinics to help you search patents are held at least once a month.

For further details, see BL & IP Centre.

Intellectual Property Office

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) offers general advice and information on patents and other intellectual property.

For further details, see IPO website.

The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys

Chartered patent attorneys are professionally qualified to advise you on any area of patenting, and any discussion with them will be in confidence.

For further details, see CIPA website.

Licensing practitioners

Licensing practitioners can offer advice on all aspects of licensing a patent.

For further details, see The Institute of International Licensing Practitioners website.