Filing Provisional Patent Application in India – The patent offices in India are working their best on to making the patent process simple and user-friendly. In attempt to do, Indian Patent Office (IPO) allow an inventor to file provisional patent application. When an invention has substantially reached a stage where it fulfills the criteria of novelty, non-obviousness and industrial applicability and is in the final stage of completion, at that stage provisional specification can be filed. By doing so, the applicant obtains a priority date to any other application working on the same or similar invention. Additionally, the inventor gets 12 months to complete the invention and file a complete specification.
It is an independent and permanent techno-legal document which does not allow any amendments upon filing.
Contents of a provisional specification
- Written description
- Field and background of the invention
- Object and statement of the invention
Lists of documents that are required to file a provisional patent application in India are:
- Form 1 (Application for grant of patent)
- Form 2 (Provisional Specifications)
- Abstract of the Invention.
- Form 5 (Declaration of Inventorship)
- Form 26 (Power of Attorney). If your patent is filed by a Patent Agent then this form is necessary, otherwise not.
- E-filing fees (Patent Statutory fee) (Electronic Payment)
- Form 3 (Corresponding foreign patent application statement and undertakings)
- Priority Document (This is used for convention applications if priority date is claimed)
- Illustrations / Drawings of the invention.
- Provides sufficient time to assess and evaluate the market
- It is not mandatory to file a provisional patent application. Therefore, one can file an application with complete specification directly.
- If any substantial changes have not been made to the invention, the applicant can use the same provisional specification as complete specification.
- 12 months’ time duration to file complete specification
- The cost of the form is relatively less than complete specification.
- The applicant after filing the provisional patent application can use the term of Patent pending insofar.
- Secures priority date
- In case, the complete specification is not filed within 12 months, the patent is abandoned. It implies that the applicant has lost the option of priority date.
- Also, the content and subject matter of the provisional and complete specification must be substantially similar.
Point to remember
- You cannot obtain a patent on the basis of provisional specification.
- Complete specification must be filed within 12 months.
- Provisional application defines the scope of the invention. Any development outside the scope of the invention as described in the provisional will not have advantage.
- Complete specification does not replace provisional specification.
- The language of the scope must describe the elements of the invention in broader terms.
- Avoid using terms as “must have”, “consists”, “essential” and etc.