What is a provisional specification in India?

One can use provisional specification in India 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. One needs to submit a full specification, including claims and an abstract within 12 months of the provisional filing.

On filing of the Provisional Specification in India the inventor gets an opportunity for an earlier filing date. This is key as it secures the priority date for the applicant. The benefits of this are numerous

  • The fact that similar inventions which are filed after the filing date of the provisional cannot become prior art for the applicants invention.
  • If any dispute regarding the ownership of the invention arises, the Patent Office will accept the provisional patent’s earlier filing date as the date of filing
  • The upfront cost of a Provisional Patent Specification is much lower than that of a complete patent application. Hence,  it saves thousands of rupees for the inventor in terms of professional fees.
  • Also, as it is technically more lucid (does not contain claims, prior art search and exhaustive and detailed drawings) as compared to the Complete Specification it costs less money and resources to prepare. Also, the inventor himself can prepare a Provisional Patent Specification.


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