When should I file a patent in India? Proper time for filing a patent application

When should I file a patent in India? : It is always advisable to file a patent for an invention much before it is published or discussed with a group of people. In India, filing a patent for an invention or research work should be considered as a priority task in order to gain maximum protection.

An early filing is recommended to avert the following risks:

  • Other inventors might obstruct the procedure by filing a patent application for the invention of the researcher.
  • There might be an accidental publication of the invention by the researcher himself.

So, it is always better to file the application before it is disclosed to public or public usage.

However, there can be situation where the inventor needs to disclose the invention to a company or patent professional or technical assistants to judge the commercial aspect of the invention. In this case a Non-Disclosure Agreement (while negotiating with a company) should be signed to maintain the confidentiality and novelty of the invention.

When should I file a patent in India? Don`t miss the time! 

If the researcher is at an early stage of invention or in the experimental stage, filing a Provisional Application would ensure the security of the inventor’s invention for a short span of time. The date on which the Provisional Application is filed is known as the Priority Date. Upon filing this application, the inventor gets a time of 12 months from the Priority Date to file the Complete Specification. If the Complete Specification is not file within this time period the application is considered to be abandoned.

Also, if the Patent Application filing process gets delayed due to some circumstances it might result in the following:

  • Inventors researching in the similar domain may file the Patent Application resulting in loss of scope for another inventor. It is to be borne in mind that Patent Application filing system in India works on a first come first serve basis.
  • Some information similar to the invention might get published as technical blog or research article thus becoming a prior-art and knocking out the chances of the invention to get patented. This happens as prior to getting patented the invention comes to the public knowledge.

It is therefore justified to apply for patent along with the provisional specification to secure the date of the invention at the earliest. However, one can directly file a complete specification along with application of patent if the invention to be protected is ready along with all its information.

A patent application is time dependent. Some inventors may opt for protection at the initial stage of invention while other may go with a late application filing once their invention is complete. Filing a patent application too early or too late can also create a tough situation. An early filing while the invention is still in its developmental stage can lead to loss of time due to lack of further planning and ideation. Hence the patent cannot be appropriately commercialized. On the other hand, being too late in filing a patent application will lead to other inventors file a similar patent application thus negating the chances of getting a patent.

It is therefore extremely crucial to understand and apply for the patent at the right moment to keep the aforesaid foreseen cases at bay. When should I file a patent in India?