Provisional Specification and Complete Specification: What is the Difference in India?

There is a vast amount of difference between Provisional Specification and Complete Specification.

A Complete Specification is a regular patent application that the patent office prosecutes, examines and grants.  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, you can provide a Provisional Specification which does not consist of the Claims. However, it comprises of the Novel and inventive features of the invention.

Here are some important points that you should be aware of:

  • You should file the Complete Specification within 12 months from the date of filing of a Provisional Specification. Otherwise, the patent office will consider your application as ‘abandoned’.
  • There is no hard and fast rule to apply for a Provisional Specification before filing the complete one. 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, you must be careful while drafting a Complete Specification. You must draft the claims within the scope of the Provisional Application. The patent office might reject your application if you introduce new matter.
  • One or more Provisional Specifications can be combined to form the complete one. In this case the Provisional Specifications needs to be of similar nature or derivatives of similar languages.

You select the Specification using Form 2.

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