Patent Filing in India – Any Indian citizen, organization, business, or any international client holds the eligibility to file patent in India, on individual basis or joint basis. There is a provision that not only the true inventor has the authority, but also an assignee has the authority to seek for patent protection in India. In case of an assignee, he/she is required to submit a proof of assignment along with the patent application. After the amendments of the patent norms, a patent application can now be filed only thorough the online mode [E-Filing] at any of the four patent offices (New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, and Kolkata) in India, depending upon the location of the applicant, business, etc. But, once the location gets fixed and appropriate office is decided, it cannot be changed. Filing a patent application is the very first step towards securing the invention.
There are two types of patent application depending upon the applicant’s requirements, namely the provisional (incomplete or preliminary application) application, and the non-provisional (complete or secondary application). Out of the two, the provisional applications are generally filed if some improvements are yet to be made in the final application. Since it gives a buffer period of 12 months, after which complete specification has to be filed. While in the case of PCT or convention application, there is only a provision of filing complete specification. And filing an application with complete specification gives the Controller, the authority to convert the complete specification into a provisional one, when requested.
The very basic and important step towards filing a patent application is to write its specifications correctly. Writing a specification is highly a skilled and difficult job that needs to only be done by technical and IP experts. The specifications may differ according to the type of application. When the application is provisional, then the specifications may only contain the title, description, drawings (if required), and sample or model (if required). And when the application is a complete one, then it may contain the title, abstract, description, drawings (if required), sample (if required), enablement and best mode, claims, and any deposits (if included).
Let’s have a look on all of these in brief.
- Title:It is represented through a word or a phrase that depicts the content of the invention.
- Abstract:It is represented through a short paragraph that precisely describes the invention.
- Description:It represents the complete description of the invention in elaborative format.
- Drawings: If the description needs to get explained through a set of drawings that can help the applicant to incorporate his/her visualization, in a much better way.
- Samples or Models: It is required to be submitted to the patent examiner, when asked for better reference ad understanding of the invention.
- Enablement and Best Mode: This means that the applicant has to present the invention in the best possible way and enable it with as much good source as possible, to make it easy to access for any ordinary person to gain knowledge from that.
- Claims:It defines the boundaries of protection for the invention, and therefore are the most crucial and the most important element of the application.
- Deposit: If it is required that any sort of microorganisms have to be submitted, and then it must be submitted to the internationally recognized depository at Chandigarh.
There is a case, that if the application has already been filed in foreign country, then its provisional specification cannot be filed. Every specification must contain a single invention. If there is more than one specification, then separate applications have to be filed for each invention. And if any Indian application has corresponding foreign applications, then the applicant has to keep the Controller informed of the status of the foreign applications. After learning about the specifications, let’s have a look at the patent application forms.
Patent Application Forms
For filing the patent application, the applicant is required to submit form1, form 3, form 5, form 9, and form 26, who so ever is required on the basis of requirements. These forms have to be submitted with their fees respectively, that varies on requirement and specification basis.
Consider this table to learn about these forms.
|Form 1||Application for patent grant, that includes name and address of the inventor(s), applicant(s), information corresponding to prior patent applications relating to the current invention, and some declarations, among other information.|
|Form 2||Complete specification form that describes the invention in detail.|
|Form 3||Statement and undertaking form by the applicant to provide information relating to patent applications filed in other countries for the current invention.|
|Form 5||Inventorship declaration form declares the inventors of the subject matter.|
|Form 9||Request publication form (optional) to publish patent application form within one month of its filing.|
|Form 18||Request examination application form to allow and give an indication to the examiner that the application is ready for its examination.|
|Form 26||Patent agent authorization form (if filed through patent agent)|
Patent Application Costs
Depending upon the type of forms taken into use, the fee has to be paid. Consider the following table to know the details about the fee.
|S. No.||On What Payable||Patent Fee
Statutory Fee/Official Fee (INR)
|Natural person/ Startup||Small Entity||Large Entity|
|1||Application for a Patent (Provisional or Complete Specification) – Up to 30 Pages & 10 Claims||1600||4000||8000||Compulsory|
|2||For each sheet in addition to 30||160||400||800||Compulsory|
|3||For each Claim in addition to 10||320||800||1600||Compulsory|
|4||Statement and Undertaking||No fee||No fee||No fee||Compulsory|
|5||Declaration of inventor-ship||No fee||No fee||No fee||Compulsory|
|6||Request for Publication||2500||6250||12500||Optional|
|7||Request for Ordinary Examination||4000||10000||20000||Compulsory|
|8||Request for Expedited Examination||8000||25000||60000||Compulsory|
|9||Amendment of before grant||800||2000||4000||Compulsory|
|10||Amendment of Address Change||320||800||1600||Compulsory|
In India, the applicant needs to fulfill two set of criteria for the examination to be carried out by the patent examiner. First, the applicant has to file a request for the examination to be conducted within 48 months of the patent filing date. After the examination request has been filed once, the patent application gets into queue for getting examined. Second, the application must be published. The patent applications gets publish after 18 months of the priority date, otherwise for the case of fast publication, an early publication request has to be filed. In such cases, the application gets published within a month of its filing.
Another important point to note is that, the criteria may differ for the case when the Indian patent application is a national phase application. For the applications of the national phase, two of the criteria will remain same, and another one criteria, i.e. the application has to pass 31 months after the priority date of the Indian patent application, have to be satisfied.
These are the criterion that has to be fulfilled in order to start the patent examination. If in any case, the applicant fails to apply for examination request within the given time period of 48 months, the patent application will automatically be abandoned. Once the applicant files the request for the patent examination, the application gets into a queue for its examination. The whole process of examining an application for once, takes a time period of minimum of 2 years after which the applicant receives its First Examination Report (FER). The applicant has to submit the corrected or the modified report with all the desired amendments to the patent office, within 12 months after receiving the FER.
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