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Frequently Asked Questions - Our Services

What Services do we Offer?
We offer a wide range of Intellectual Property and Technical Services such as Patent Searching and Prototype Development. Our services are compliant with BS8538.They are all delivered as part of our Enterprise Service.
How long does it take? 
We endeavour to complete and return acknowledgments of submissions on the same working day as they are received. Ideas submitted through our online service are acknowledged immediately. 
For inventions submitted through our Discovery Service: If the assessment process is straightforward, you will normally receive our report within 20 working days. If your idea is complex or if we need to contact experts as part of the evaluation it may take longer. In either case we endeavour to report to you at the earliest opportunity. 
What is the success rate?
Over 80% of the ideas submitted to us have been done before or are covered by existing Patents. About half the remainder have to be rejected because we can find no third-party commercial interest in the idea. The remainder may have some commercial possibilities. This does not guarantee success, it is really the start of the hard work. Our expectation is that only about 30% of these, or less than 5% of the original applications will have any commercial success and much fewer will generate any significant rewards for the inventor. You should also bear in mind that it can take a long time before any rewards are achieved.
Do I have to accept any commercial agreement from TBB?
No. We do not acquire any rights in your ideas an there is no obligation to accept any offer of a commercial agreement from us.
Who pays for the patent?
The initial patent application will not cost you anything if you apply yourself, and we can assist you with this.  If you decide to take out the full patent the costs are down to you as the patent will belong to you. Sometimes a deal can be negotiated with a manufacturer concerned to assist with the intellectual property fees as part of a licence agreement.

What other costs would be involved and who pays for them? 
The Enterprise Service offers a number of commercial services that the client can use. Services for Prototype Manufacture and other Professional Services will be quoted and agreed with the Client beforehand. We endeavour to ensure that any services from our associate companies that we recommend are really necessary and are competitively priced.
When do I see a return?
This depends on the idea. It may need a lot of development work before it can be marketed. It always takes longer than expected. It can take at least two years for any significant commercial return. Commercial distributors usually plan a year ahead for their stock. So it can take at least a year between a commercial agreement and any revenue appearing.