The patent examination is the step that comes after your application is published. Also, it is perhaps the hardest part of the patent registration process in India. The IPO scrutinizes every patent application before granting the patent.
Hence, you have to account for a lot of things at the same time. This can be tricky and any mistake can hamper the outcome of the examination. So, what does it take to ensure a smooth patent examination? Which forms do you need and which guidelines you need to adhere to? We will provide you with a simple and systematic explanation for all these questions.
Patent Examination: What is the Procedure?
An applicant must request a patent examination after their patent application is published. Hence, you need to use Form 18 for the same. Upon receiving the Request for Examination (RFE), the IPO queues the application for the examination. An examiner in the relevant field examines the application to ensure the same is in accordance with the patent act and rules. The examiner also performs a search to understand similar technologies to ascertain if the invention would satisfy the patentability criteria.
Based on the review of the application, the examiner will issue the First Examination Report (FER) to the applicant, stating the grounds for objections. Therefore, the applicant must successfully overcome all the objections in order to get a grant for the patent. The total time given to put an application in response to the FER is 6 months from the date on which the FER is issued to the applicant. However, the applicant can file a request for an extension (using Form 4) and get an extension of 3 months.
Related Article: How to Write Abstract in Patent Application?
Patent Examination: How can you Minimize Errors?
In order to ensure that your patent examination goes with minimum problems, you can take a few steps. That includes:
Conducting a Thorough Patent Search
This is the first step that can help you a lot in the patent examination. If your patent search is thorough, then you will make the necessary changes to the application before filing. This will ultimately help your patent application to face lesser difficulties in the examination phase.
Drafting the Patent Application Diligently
You must ensure that you are drafting your applications according to the acceptable norms of the IPO. If your application adheres to the guidelines then you are minimizing the scope of technical errors within the application. You must give an ample amount of time to the drafting part so that the application comes out to be great.
Proofreading the Patent Application
Anyone can make errorr, regardless of how much experience they have. It is always a good idea to proofread your application once the drafting is complete. This is because human errors can crop up at any time. While writing one segment of the application, you may not be able to convey the necessary information at a point of time. Hence, upon proofreading, you can make improvements and reinforce the quality of the draft. Therefore, you should proofread your patent application.
Make Spot-on Patent Drawings
The drawings of your patent play another crucial role at the time of the patent examination. They can be the difference makers when the examiner is reviewing your application.
Make a Proper Docket and Track Important Dates
This is about your management and punctuality. Ensure that you have a proper docket of your application, the necessary files, drawings, etc. This can help you to produce everything in a systematic manner. Another point is to keep track of the important dates such as responding to office actions, attending hearings, etc.
Clear your Patent Examination with Your Patent Team
Ultimately, the aforementioned points can be a little difficult to follow. The patent examination is a difficult process and should not be taken lightly. It can be very useful to hire a professional for the process. This will ensure that you have a much higher chance of getting a patent grant. Hence, you should consider investing in a professional IP service. The cost of hiring a company is nothing in comparison to putting your patent grant at risk.
YPT is a team of 225+ technology/industry experts who speak the inventor’s language and have a deep understanding of Indian & Global Patent Laws.
YPT utilizes its knowledge in patent prosecution and patent enforcement to draft patent applications, ensuring maximum enforceability and cost-saving. We have an in-depth understanding of the working style of all 4 patent offices in India and also have a good network with them to ensure expedited and accurate information.
Visit us to avail Your Patent Team’s services.