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Your Patent Team (YPT) is an exclusive group of world leading technology/industry experts with deep understanding of global patent laws. YPT team of 125+ experts cover variety of tech areas including Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical, Biotechnology, Electronics, Telecommunication, Software, Information Technology and more. YPT serves clients in over 45 countries and is one of the very few organizations who understand global IP best practices to the core. YPT utilizes this expertise to advise our clients to help them get world class advise and IP protection. Further, with vast global network and work volumes, YPT not only ensures that you get the strongest and broadest protection, but makes sure that you get at the optimum costs. Again, YPT is one of the only organizations in the world where work does not stop at clients getting the IP protection but where experts walk with the client till they are able to get returns from their IP protection. YPT is trusted alike by industry associations (like FICCI, PHD Chamber of Commerce, FISME, etc), Government Departments and Ministries (like Department of Science and Technology), Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, Universities, Start-ups, Foreign Law Firms, and Individual Inventors in India and abroad. We have presence in 90+ jurisdictions to help our clients get best protections worldwide.
Why Choose YPT?
- Your Patent Team (YPT) is an exclusive group of world leading patent attorneys who are technology/industry experts with deep understanding of global patent laws. YPT team of 125+ experts cover variety of tech areas including Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical, Biotechnology, Electronics, Telecommunication, Software, Information Technology and more.
- YPT serves clients in over 45 countries and is one of the very few organizations from India who understand global patent best practices to the core. YPT utilizes this expertise to advise clients so they get world class advise and patent protection.
- With vast global network and work volumes, YPT not only ensures that you get the strongest and broadest patent protection globally, but makes sure that you get this at the optimum costs.
- YPT is one of the only organizations in the world where work does not stop at clients getting the patent protection. Here our business experts walk with the client till they are able to get monetary returns from their patent protection.
- YPT is trusted alike by industry associations (like FICCI, PHD Chamber of Commerce, FISME, etc), Government Departments and Ministries (like Department of Science and Technology), Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, Universities, Start-ups, Foreign Law Firms, and Individual Inventors in India and abroad. We have presence in 90+ jurisdictions to help our clients get best protections worldwide.
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For more information – Visit FAQs
More about Patents in India
What types of industrial property rights exist in India?
India has patents, patents of addition, designs and trade marks. Applications for all of these can be filed with the Indian Patent Office.
What are patents of addition in India?
Patents of addition relate to improvements in or modifications to patented inventions. A patent of addition cannot be granted before the main patent is granted. If the main patent is revoked, the patentee may request the conversion of the patent of addition into an independent patent. Patents of addition have the same term as patents for the main invention.
How long is the term of protection of Indian patents?
The term of protection of an Indian patent is 20 years from the date of filing of the application, subject to the payment of annual fees. The 20-year term was introduced by the Patents (Amendment) Act 2002. It also applies to all granted patents whose term had not expired on 20 May 2003. Under the previous law the term was 14 years from the date of filing.
What inventions cannot be patented in India?
Chapter II, Section 3 of the Indian Patents Act stipulates what is not considered an invention under the law and is therefore not patentable in India:
- inventions being frivolous or contrary to public order, morality, public health, the environment, etc.
- scientific discoveries
- mere discoveries of new forms of known substances
- methods of agriculture or horticulture
- diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods for the treatment of humans or animals
- plants and animals other than micro-organisms
- mathematical or business methods or computer programs per se or algorithms
- literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation
- schemes, rules or methods of performing mental acts or methods of playing games
- presentations of information
- topography of integrated circuits
- traditional knowledge
Inventions relating to atomic energy are not patentable either.
Can computer software be patented in India?
Under Section 3(k) of the Indian Patents Act, computer programs as such are not considered patentable subject-matter, but they may be protected under copyright law. An invention containing a computer program may be patentable if an essential part of the invention claimed is subject-matter other than a computer program and if this subject-matter is sufficiently disclosed in the specification.
Is India a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)?
Yes, India became a contracting state to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) on 7 December 1998. Since then it has been possible to designate India in international patent applications filed via the PCT route.
As a foreign applicant, do I need to appoint a professional representative in India?
The law does not say that you have to. However, if you reside abroad, you must furnish an address for service in India which will be used for all communications from the Indian Patent Office. The address of an authorised patent agent, for example, could serve as an address for service.
Which of India’s four filing offices should I file my patent application with?
India’s four filing offices are in Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Each has a separate territorial jurisdiction. Where you file your application depends on
- where you live
- where your business is located, and
- where the invention actually originated.
For foreign applicants without a place of business or address in India, the territorial jurisdiction is defined by the address or place of business of their patent agent.
What language must I use for a patent application in India?
The official filing languages in India are English and Hindi. In the case of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications not filed or published in English, an English translation must be submitted within the 31-month time period.
Can I claim priority for an application filed in India?
Yes, you can claim priority when filing a patent application in India. A certified copy of the priority document must be submitted within three months of the date of filing of the application. The priority period is 12 months from the earliest priority claimed. It is possible to claim multiple priorities. Domestic priority (based on a previously filed application in India) is also available.
What do I need to do to get an early filing date in India?
For non-Convention applications it is possible to get an early filing date by filing a provisional specification, which has to be followed by a complete specification within 12 months of filing. Provisional specifications cannot be filed for divisional, Convention or PCT national phase applications.
Does India allow divisional applications?
Yes, applicants may file one or more divisional applications at any time prior to the grant of a patent.
What is a provisional specification in India?
Provisional specifications can be used to secure a priority date for an application. They describe the nature of the invention without claims, and should contain the title and description of the invention. A full specification, including claims and an abstract, must be submitted within 12 months of the provisional filing.
Are Indian patents subject to substantive examination?
Indian patents are subject to formal and substantive examination. Substantive examination is carried out on request (by the applicant or an interested party) to determine if the invention meets the patentability requirements (novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability).
How soon after filing an application in India do I need to file a request for examination?
You must submit this request within 48 months of the date of priority or the date of filing of the application, whichever is earlier. If you do not file a request for examination within the prescribed time limit, the application will be deemed to be withdrawn.
Can I request that my application be published earlier than 18 months from the filing date in India?
Yes, you can request early publication. The application will be published within one month of the date of the request, subject to payment of the prescribed fee.
Can I withdraw my application before it is published in India?
Yes. In India, if you make a request for the withdrawal of your application within 15 months of the date of filing or date of priority, whichever is earlier, the application will not be published.
Can I submit third-party observations on an Indian patent application?
Yes. Any person can oppose the grant of a patent by submitting observations to the Controller of the Indian Patent Office at any time after the publication of the patent application and before the announcement of the decision to grant. The statement and evidence presented in this “pre-grant opposition” will only be considered if and when a request for examination of the application has been filed.
When is the first office action usually issued in India?
Since May 2006, the first office action, also called the First Examination Report (FER), is normally issued within six months of the date of the request for examination.
What is the time limit for responding to official actions in India?
You should comply with all the legal requirements and meet all the objections put forward in the First Examination Report (FER) as soon as possible. If you fail to respond to the FER within 12 months of the date of issue, your application will be deemed to have been abandoned.
When do I have to pay annual fees in India?
In India, the annual fees are due from the second year of the pending application. You have to pay the first annual fee on the second anniversary of the date of filing of the complete specification. If the application is granted more than two years after the date of filing, the accumulated annual fees are payable within three months of the date on which the patent was recorded in the register. Further annual fees are due each year, in advance. India has a two-tier fee system with different fees for individuals and legal entities.
Is there a grace period for paying annual fees in India?
Yes. The time limit for the payment of annual fees can be extended by up to a maximum of six months. This extension can be obtained on request, upon payment of a fee for each month of extension.
Can a lapsed patent be restored in India?
In India, provided the failure to pay the annual fee was unintentional, patent holders can file a request for restoration of a patent within 18 months of the lapse date, subject to the payment of an additional fee.
Can I request an extension of the patent term in India?
No, currently India does not allow the extension of patent terms.
How can I challenge a granted patent in India?
Since January 2005, India has had a post-grant opposition system under which you can oppose a granted patent within 12 months of the announcement of the decision to grant.
Interested parties, or the government, can also file a petition for revocation of a patent at any time during the life of the patent. Such petitions must be lodged with the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) or at High Court level.
Where can I search Indian patent information in English?
The Indian Patent Office website provides a free search system for Indian patent information called “InPASS” (Indian Patent Advanced Search System). The system allows full text searches for published patent applications, granted patents and legal status information for Indian patents. It also provides online access to the Patent Office Journal, which is updated weekly on Fridays.
Where can I find official information about patent fees in India?
You will find the Indian Patent Office’s current fee schedule under Forms and fees on the IP India website.
Can I access the documents in the file of an Indian patent application?
Yes. Once an application has been laid open, anyone can file a written request for file inspection and obtain certified copies upon payment of the requisite fee.
Alternatively, provided the relevant records have been digitised, you can download the documents in the file from the Indian Patent Office’s free InPASS website.
Where can I find information about patent agents in India?
You can find information about patent agents in India in the Electronic list of patent agents on the IP India website.
When can a phrase ‘patent applied’ or ‘patent pending’ or ‘patented’ be used?
When an article or invention is sold at a stage where the patent application is yet to be granted/ rejected/ withdrawn or abandoned, then the phrase ‘patent applied’ or ‘patent pending’ can be used on it. The term ‘patented’ can be used on an article or invention or product when it has been granted a patent.
What is the difference between a Provisional Specification and a Complete Specification?
A regular patent application that is prosecuted, examined and granted by the patent office is known as a Complete Specification. A Complete Specification consists of the total disclosure of the invention along with Claims that define the legal limits of the invention. The disclosure also contains a detail method stating the working procedure of the invention.
A complete specification is sometimes difficult to produce as an invention may still be in its developmental stage. In that scenario, a Provisional Specification is provided which does not consist of the Claims and is comprised of the Novelty and inventive features of the invention.
Below mentioned are some important points that are to be noted when it comes to Provisional and Completed Specification:
- Within 12 months from the date of filing of a Provisional Specification, the Complete Specification should be filed or else the application is considered to be abandoned.
- There is no hard and fast rule to apply for a Provisional Specification before filing a Complete Specification. An applicant can directly file a Complete Specification while applying for a patent.
- Although a Provisional Specification doesn’t consist of a Claims Section, it still defines the legal state or demarcations of an invention. Hence the applicant must be careful while drafting a Complete Specification as the Claims Section in it cannot be elaborate in scope when compared to the Provisional Specification.
- One or more Provisional Specifications can be combined to form a Complete Specification. In this case the Provisional Specifications needs to be of similar nature or derivatives of similar languages.
What are patents? What are the advantages/objectives of it?
A patent is a set of rights granted by the government to an inventor for a definite period of time. They are techno-legal documents containing the details of a novel, non-obvious and commercially feasible inventions or products. These exclusive legal rights prohibit third parties from making, using, and selling of products without the patentee’s consent. This also holds true for importing or exporting the patented product from a particular country. If a third party or entity wrongfully uses the rights, then the patentee can sue for patent infringement.
The advantages of patent are as below:
- The inventor/ company which have been granted patent for a particular product enjoys monopoly over that product and thus can keep competitors at bay.
- Researchers or inventors can license their patents to other entities which will eventually be monetarily beneficial for them.
- An increase in chances of investment.
- The status ‘patented’ helps in effective branding.
In what modes can a patent be filed internationally?
It is known that there is no such thing called a ‘global patent’ that is acceptable worldwide. An applicant has to file separately either through the Paris Convention or Patent Co-operation Treaty System to get acknowledged of an international patent.
Paris Convention– For all member countries enlisted in the Paris convention, an applicant can file directly in the corresponding country within 12 months from the date of filing that is the Priority Date.
Patent Co-operation Treaty– In this system an applicant can file the patent application in the PCT contracting states within 30-34 months from the Priority Date ( here is an exception to the usual 12 months’ time frame from the Priority Date). All formal works are done in the form of documentation and simplified logistics. Through the PCT system an applicant can also get to know the International Search Report of his invention. However, an applicant must be aware that the PCT application itself must be filed within 12 months from the Priority Date. It must also be noted that every Paris Convention country may not be a member of the PCT contracting state and for filing patent applications in those countries; applicant has to take help of the Paris Convention.
What is the term of a patent? Can a patent be renewed after its expiry?
A patent is generally valid for twenty years from the date of filing in case of domestically filed patents (this is applicable globally). For national phase applications which are filed through the PCT the validity is again of twenty years from the date of International Filing. In some countries, this time limit or validity term can be adjusted if the Patent office delays in granting a patent. This is also true for a delay from regulatory bodies in case of pharmaceutical and agricultural patents. However, in India an extension of patent term or term adjustment is not entertained. After the expiry of a patent, it cannot be renewed.
What is the relevant date from the infringement perspective?
A patent infringement lawsuit can only be filed after the grant of patent. The patentee shall still enjoy the privileges considering the patent was granted on the date of publication of the application. The patent owner can however sue back and claims for damages from the infringement date or patent application publication date, whichever among the two will be later.
What is patentability search and is it mandatory?
The prime objective of a patentability search is to find out whether a particular invention is eligible for acquiring a patent or not. The search is conducted to find out if an invention is novel, non-obvious and is commercially applicable. All these three criterions together determine the patentability of an invention. Since patent registration is quite costly procedure it is always advisable to conduct a thorough patentability search worldwide or at least in the countries where the applicant wishes his invention to be protected. This process can be done by the applicant himself or an experienced patent professional too (a patent professional can help much better while searching). However, if an applicant is confident enough that his invention is one and unique and meets all the patentability criterions, he can go ahead and directly file a patent application.
Who may file a request for examination and what time is allowed for putting application in condition of grant?
A request for examination can be filed by the applicant himself, his immediate subsidiary who might be interested or his agent. A First Examination Report or FER is usually sent to the primary applicant and is also uploaded online for public. After an issue of the FER, it is mandatory for the applicant to respond to it or to subsequent Examination Reports if any. All this entire procedure should be done by the applicant within 12 months from the date of issue of First Examination Report (FER). Failing to clear this will lead to refusal of a patent
What are restrictions for filing outside India for Indian residents?
For Indian residents opting for foreign or international filing, they have to abide by the following rules:
- An Indian applicant has to wait for a minimum time period of 6 weeks before he can file a patent application abroad. However if he wishes to file the application prior to this waiting time he has to get the permit by submitting a request for Foreign filing at the Patent Office.
- An applicant may wish to file directly at a foreign country before applying for the same in India. In that scenario too he needs to file a request for Foreign Filing permit at the Patent Office. Only after obtaining permit from the office he can proceed further.
If an applicant fails to take permission from the Indian Patent Office before filing of an international Patent Application, his/her patent application will be considered as abandoned and a granted application will be officially cancelled. The applicant might have to serve a period of 2 years of imprisonment or fine or both.
Can the technical aspects of a patent be modified by any means?
There is no chance to do any modifications or add something in a Complete Specification. Still if the applicant needs to amend or add some new matters, he can do so by filing a Patent of Addition apart from the original patent application filed. The improvements or amendments to be done must be mentioned in this Patent of Addition.
What is the process of application for a patent?
The persons who can apply for a patent application are the true or first inventor, an assignee or a legal representative. The form is to be properly filled and submitted at the required patent office. The 4 main offices in India are located at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The applicant is required to file application only with the offices which comes under the jurisdiction of his state of residence, or the place of origin of invention. For foreign applicants who do not have a business place or are not resident of India can take the help of a patent agent to file the application with the correct office.
The initial or very first date on which the patent application is filed is known as the Priority Date. The Priority Date carries much significance because among patent applications with almost similar subject matter, the one with the earlier filing date is given the first priority.
For foreign or international filing, the patent application with an earlier priority date is taken into consideration. All the applications filed subsequently will have similar priority date as that of the parent application. The subsequent applications are thus referred as the family members of the parent application. The process of application is generally the same with only a minor change in format which depends on the country where the application is filed for. The applicant needs to take the help of the patent agent or attorney of the required country as he/she will not be able to file individually.
What is the procedure for Patent Co-operation Treaty?
The PCT comprises of the following procedures:-
Filing– You need to file an international application with WIPO or a national or regional patent office. The application must abide by the requirements of PCT. It must be drafted in a language and submitted along with a set of fees.
International Search– An International Searching Authority is a major patent office in the world which is responsible for finding out probable ‘prior-arts’. Whether an invention is patentable or not and the inventor’s potential patentability is declared by the ISA in a written format.
International Publication– The contents of the publication is disclosed just after 18 months from the earliest filing date.
Supplementary International Search– There is a second ISA that finds out the prior-art on request if they are overlooked by the first ISA. This is entirely optional.
International Preliminary Examination– This is again an optional step which is conducted on request generally on the amended version of a patent application.
National Phase– This is done at the end of the PCT phase, usually 30 months from the very first application filing date.
How do I protect my invention in multiple countries?
Patent rights are limited to territories. To protect invention in several countries simultaneously you can go for the Direct or Paris Route or the PCT Route.
What is a PCT Route?
You can file an application under the PCT directly or within the 12-month from the filing date of a first application under the Paris Convention. This is applicable for all Contracting States of the PCT. It is much simpler and cost-effective.
Who can use the PCT Route?
The PCT Route is generally used by the major corporations, research institutions, and universities in order to obtain international patent protection. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual inventors also seek protection through PCT. A yearly list of the PCT filers is published in the PCT newsletter.
How does an International Patent Application effect?
Generally the international patent application you file serves the purpose or is equally effective as that of the national patent application (and certain regional patent applications). If the international patent application meets all the rules and regulations as stated in the Treaty and Regulations along with its applicability in all PCT Contracting States, then it will not be required to adapt to or draft a separate national phase patent application. The requirements as stated in Treaty and Regulations if met successfully will not require further adaptation to national or regional requirements. You will be exempted from the cost too.
Who can file an international patent application under the PCT?
A person is eligible to file in an international patent application if he/she is a native or resident of a PCT Contracting State. An application may comprise of several applicants. In those scenarios, only one of those applicants needs to fulfill the requirements.
Where can I file an international patent application?
You can file an international patent application with the national Patent Office or directly to the WIPO (subjected to provision of permission by the state’s national security). These two offices act as the PCT receiving office. However you will be required to file an international application with the respective regional patent office if you are a resident of a country which is party to the European Patent Convention, ARIPO Harare Protocol and OAPI Bangui Agreement.
What is the cost of filing an international application under the PCT?
A PCT applicant is generally required to pay three types of fees while filing an international patent application. They are (a) an international filing fee (b) a search fee depending on chosen ISA and (c) a transmittal fee that depends upon the receiving offices. More details on forms and fees are described elaborately in www.ipindia.nic.in
How much fee reduction is available under the PCT?
For all applicants who file electronically, are always eligible for a fee reduction depending on the type of filing and application format submitted. Apart from this to make more people leave the conventional pen and paper method and adapt to electronic filing of the PCT system, applicants from developing nations get additional concession on fees. These individuals get almost a 90% reduction in some determined fees which include the international filing fee.
How long does it take for a PCT process to be completed?
An applicant has a time span of 18 months from the time an international patent application is filed (or usually 30 months from the filing date of the initial patent application) before he/she proceeds with the national phase procedures and formalities. This additional buffer time enables an inventor/ applicant to judge the potential and commercial viability of the invention in the desired countries. The overall time required for a patent to be granted varies depending upon the national or regional patent offices. This is because each and every regional or national office examines a patent application according to the corresponding regional patent laws.
What is the significance of “Claim Priority” of an earlier patent application?
Applicants who wish to protect their invention in multiple countries are required to first file a national or regional patent application with their national or regional patent Office. Within 12 months from the filing date (Priority Date) of the first application, the applicant has to file an international application under the PCT. Claiming Priority of an earlier filed application negates the possibility of invalidation of a patent for any reason.
In what language can you file an international patent application?
An international patent application can be filed in any language with the receiving office. If your application is in a language that is not or cannot be supported by ISA then you are required to submit a translation of your application. It is required for the purpose of an international search. Receiving offices however accepts application that is in a language competent to ISA and a “publication language”. Publication language is one of those in which international patent applications are published. Those languages are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Thus as a translator you always have an option or choice of language while filing application.
Which Office will be responsible for carrying out the international search of a PCT application?
The availability of an International Searching Authority or ISA to the residents of a country is determined by the receiving Office where the international application was filed. Sometimes, receiving offices do give a choice to the applicant to choose an ISA.
What is PCT International Search?
It is a high quality search of the relevant patent documents and other technical literature in those languages in which majority of the patent applications are filed. The search quality is maintained as per the standards prescribed in the PCT and is executed by qualified staffs. The results are published in an international search report. A written opinion on potential of an invention is also drafted by ISA.
What is the value of the international search report?
This report enables you to determine the chances of obtaining patents in the PCT contracting states. The report result can be both in your or against your favor. This however will help you in deciding whether and how you should proceed further with your application (this is when search report is favorable) or how you can amend the claims in your application or can withdraw them (in case of unfavorable search report).
Is an international search carried out for all international applications?
The thumb rule is to conduct an international search for all international applications. However, there might be certain conditions when ISA will be unable to conduct a search. In those cases, ISA will issue a declaration stating non-issuance of international search report. ISA can also issue a partial report search if it feels that the application has multiple inventions but the applicant has not paid additional fees to conduct the search for all entailed additional inventions.
What does the written opinion of the International Searching Authority signify?
Simultaneously while the international search report is published, a preliminary opinion on whether the invention adheres to or meets the patentability criteria is established. The written opinion is sent to the applicant along with the international search report. It helps an applicant understand and interpret as to how the chances of obtaining a patent can be enhanced.
What is a PCT supplementary international search?
Apart from the PCT International Search, an applicant can request the ISA to conduct one or more supplementary searches apart from the PCT main international search. This can reduce the scope of new patents to be discovered in the national phase itself. Also, it helps in determining the technical scope of an invention to broader realm.
What is a supplementary international search report?
This is more or less similar to the main international search report. The supplementary international search report consists of a list of patent documents and literatures that might pose a challenge to the patentability of the invention claimed in the international application. Sometimes, the supplementary international search report contains a detail analysis and explanation than the main international search report.
What does an international publication under the PCT consist of?
WIPO is responsible for publishing the international application shortly after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date along with the international search report. All PCT international applications are published online and can be found on PATENTSCOPE.
Can third parties access documents in the file of an international application?
Nobody is allowed access an international application unless the applicant himself requests or authorizes it (till the time of international publication that is 18 months after the priority date). If an applicant withdraws the application before international publication the also third parties cannot access it. After the international publication some documents are made public in PATENTSCOPE which then serves as a medium to access.
What is an international preliminary examination?
An International preliminary examination is a second step to evaluate the patentability of an invention according to the standards on which the written opinion of the ISA is based. After an initial international search and the report published an applicant may wish to make changes in the international application in order to overcome challenging documents identified. This preliminary examination allows participating in the examination process and influencing the findings of the examiner before entering the national phase.
What is the value of the international preliminary report?
The international preliminary report provides an even stronger ground to evaluate the chances of gaining patents.
How to enter the national phase?
Once you have decided that you wish to proceed further with your international application you have to enter the national phase. This requires paying requisite fees, submitting translation of applications in some cases.
What happens to my application in the national phase?
Once an applicant has entered the national phase, the national or regional patent Offices begin the process of determining as to grant you the patent or not. The PCT international search report, the written opinion of ISA and sometimes an international preliminary examination report make the examination easier for the concerned offices.
What is a Patent Co-operation Treaty or PCT?
It is an international treaty with more than 150 participating countries. For Inventors who wish to seek patent protection in multiple countries can do so by filing a single patent application. It is not required to file separate national applications for multiple regions. Whether the patent will be granted on not depends on national or regional patent Offices.
What is a Paris Route?
It is also known as the Direct Route. You can file applications separately in countries where you wish to seek patent protection. All the applications can be filed simultaneously. Also, you can file an application in any one of the member states of the Paris Convention. The remaining applications can be filed separately within 12 months from the filing date of that first patent application.
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