Steps to file a patent application in India
Timeline for patent publication in India
Once the patent application is drafted and filed at the Indian Patent Office (IPO), it takes 18 months from the filing date/ priority date for the application to be published in the patent gazette.
However, one is not required to wait for 18 months to proceed with commercialization of the invention. The task of commercialization can be taken up once the patent application is filed at the Indian Patent Office.
Important considerations before filing for a patent
- Prior art search: A prior art search or patentability search is one of the crucial steps to be carried out before proceeding with drafting and filing of the patent application. It provides a structure to an idea and helps to identify some of the most relevant patents/applications which enables an inventor to assess the value of his/her invention.
- Confidentiality: An inventor is advised to maintain a high level of confidentiality before his patent application is filed. Further, inventors are advised to execute an NDA with a patent professional prior to disclosing any details with respect to their invention.
- Documentation of the invention: It is extremely important for an inventor to document every detail of the invention so as to enable the patent professional to effectively capture all the novel elements of the invention.
- Making the right decision: An inventor can choose to proceed with one of the following tasks depending on the completeness of his invention:
- Provisional application: If an inventor wishes to protect his invention at a nascent/ pre-mature stage, filing of a provisional application is highly advisable as the inventor can continue with his research activities while enjoying protection for his basic idea/concept.
- Complete application: If an inventor has reached the proto-type stage, filing a complete application will be advisable.
Note: A complete application must be filed within 12 months of filing a provisional application.
The Official fee for patent filing in India can be referred by clicking the following link:
The process of patent filing in India includes the following steps:
- Drafting and filing of a patent application: A provisional/complete application may be filed depending on the completeness of an invention. If an inventor files for a provisional application, he must file for a complete application within 12 months from the priority date obtained while filing the provisional application.
- Patent Publication: The patent application will be published in the patent gazette after 18 months from the priority date/ filing date.
- Pre-grant opposition: Once a patent application is published, it is open to opposition based on various criteria such as lack of novelty, inventive step or industrial applicability which together form the criteria of patentability.
- Examination & issuance of First statement of Objections: After an application is published, the patent office will examine the invention and raise objections in case at least one of the three criteria of patentability are not satisfied and/or if the invention falls under the purview of invention not patentable provided under Section 3 and 4 of the Indian Patents Act, 1970. Patent agents prepare responses to these objections and submit it to the Controller General of Patents.
- Patent Grant: Once the Controller General is convinced with the responses filed for the First statement of Objections, the applicant will be granted the patent. The applicant is required to pay an annual maintenance fee to keep the patent active.
- Post-grant opposition: Once a granted patent is published, it is open to opposition based on various criteria such as lack of novelty, inventive step or industrial applicability.
- Patent revocation: After 12 months from the date of grant, a granted patent can be invalidated by means of revocation under Section 64 of the Indian Patents Act 1970.