Value of patent expertise reflected in insightful patent grant data.

By Samuel Thomas Houghton, Trainee Patent Attorney


The value of patent expertise has been reflected in insightful patent grant data, in contrast to inventor self-representation.

The motivation for inventor self-representation is understandable, where an official source states [1][2]:

“Fees can be several thousand pounds (to a patent attorney) but they will give you a much better chance of being granted a patent.” [2]

However not all inventors follow this advice, leading to subpar work. This was validated in a recent letter from the Patent Office, the UKIPO [3], to inventors:

“We note you are not using an intellectual property (IP) advisor. Only 4-6% of patent applications which are filed without the help of an IP advisor successfully reach grant. An IP advisor can also help you choose the best form of IP for your innovation.” [3]

The letter continues:

“There are many forms of intellectual property (IP) and it is important that you take the time to choose the one that is right for you. Please read our online advice exploring the benefits of patents, registered designs, trademarks and trade secrets. This can be found at” [2][3]

Furthermore just because a patent is applied for doesn’t mean it will successfully defend the inventors innovation as a granted patent.

”Patents are the most difficult form of IP to get and the most expensive to enforce. It can take 5-6 years for a patent application to be granted or refused.” [3]

Comparatively between 1995 and 2022 there were 692574 patents applications and 211787 patents granted in corresponding years [4][5], implying a grant rate ~30.5% at the IPO. This was impacted by the decreased number of fillings due to the 2019 coronavirus pandemic and time to grant, a future article will cover grant rate in more depth.


To overcome these low odds it is important to have effective representation. Qualified Patent Attorneys, like ourselves at Patent Outsourcing Limited, provide value for money in enabling inventors to protect their inventions.  In our practice in Patent Outsourcing Limited we have a track record of obtaining greater than 70% of patent applications being granted in the United Kingdom. [6]


“Review of the rate of grant of United Kingdom patent applications applied for by patent outsourcing Limited as representative have, averaged over a five year period provided a rate of grant in excess of 70%. That is 70% of patent applications result in the grant of a patent, the remaining may either be withdrawn for nonlegal reasons, refused for legal reasons or otherwise not resulted in a patent.” [6]



[1] “Jack-of-all-trades definition & meaning,” Merriam-Webster, (accessed Aug. 24, 2023).

[2] Government Digital Service, “Apply for a patent,” GOV.UK, (accessed Aug. 24, 2023).

[3] T. Wright, “Letter,” UK Intellectual Property Office, Aug. 23, 2023

[4] Intellectual Property Office, “Trends at UK Intellectual Property Office 1995 to 2017,” GOV.UK, (accessed Aug. 24, 2023).

[5] Intellectual Property Office, “Facts and figures: Patents, Trade Marks, designs and hearings: 2022,” GOV.UK, (accessed Aug. 24, 2023).

[6] M. Houghton, “Review of the rate of grant of United Kingdom patent applications applied for by Patent Outsourcing Limited,” Aug. 24, 2023

[7] Pixabay, “Several handheld tools on white printer paper - Free Stock Photo,” Pexels, (accessed Aug. 24, 2023).


Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.