Foreign Filing Licenses (FFL)

Why FFL?

Whenever an applicant, i.e., a company or an individual (particularly Indian Resident) decides to file a patent application directly in a foreign country as an international application, he may need to have foreign filing licenses (FFL) from the Indian patent office (IPO).  [As per section 39 of the Indian Patent Act, 1970]. 

What is FFL?

  • a composed authorization obtained from the IPO.
  • by granting FFL, the IPO waives off the obligatory necessities of first filing a patent application in India,


  • File a formal request on Form 25 along with prescribed fee 1600/4000/8000 (natural person and startup/ small entity/ other than natural person or startup or small entity).
  • An abstract of the invention is also required to be filed with the request.
  • IPO will review the request and provide its decision within 21 working days.
  • If permission is granted then the applicant can file application directly outside India, otherwise cannot.  Foreign Filing Licenses

Permissible technologies?

  • FFL is permitted only to those technologies which do not belong to sensitive matter like defense or atomic energy. Patent applications that are directed to such sensitive technologies which would be biased to the defense of India are denied to get an FFL.


  • If the prescribed procedure is not followed then the defaulter is subject to imprisonment for two years or fine or both.
  • the application may be rejected.

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