A patent grant is an exclusive right that protects the invention of the applicant. The procedure for a grant of patent in India comprises of few steps. After following these steps, the Indian patent office issues the patent grant in India to the applicant. However, a patent grant does not arise automatically. An understanding of the procedure for obtaining a patent is important to understand the general patent laws in India. The procedure starts from the filing of the patent application and ends at the patent grant. There are a few steps present in between them. The detailed description of these steps in obtaining a grant of patent in India is given below.
Procedure for grant of patent in India:
The procedure for a patent grant in India starts after the patentability search which determines the novelty of the invention. If the invention is patentable, one has to draft a patent application that includes the description of the invention. After drafting a patent application, the procedure for a patent grant starts by filing the patent application. The step by step process for obtaining a patent grant is as follows:
- Patent filing application: The first step in the procedure for a patent grant is filing the patent application. A patent application must contain specifications of the invention and other relevant details of the invention. One can file both a provisional and a complete application for their invention to get a grant of patent in India. A provisional application need only contain a description of the invention. A complete application requires full details including claims related to the invention
- Publication of the application: After filing, every application goes to the Indian patent office. The Indian patent office publishes the patent application in the official patent journal. The patent application comes in the public domain after the patent office publishes it. Indian patent office publishes the patent application after 18 months of the filing date. However, if one requests, he can get an early publication within one month of the request. The date of the publication is important as the rights of the invention starts from the date of publication.
- Examination of the application: The next step in the procedure is the examination of the patent application. The examination process, unlike publication, does not happen automatically by way of filing of the Indian patent application. The applicant has to specifically make a request for examining their patent application. The patent application will not move ahead to the examination cell if a request pertaining to it is not made. The examination takes place to determine whether the invention meets the statutory requirements for patentability or not. After the request of the examination, it will eventually land up on the desk of the examiner. The examiner then examines the application taking into account the prior art information of the invention.
- Objection by the examiner: After an examination of the report, there is a possibility of an examiner raising the objections. During the examination, the examiner scrutinizes the application in accordance with the patent act. Based on the review of the application, the examiner will issue an examination report to the applicant. The first such examination report is known as First Examination Report (FER). The examiner will state all the objections pertaining to the patent application.
- Office Action Response: Once examiner issues the First Examination Report, the applicant has to successfully overcome the objections to receive a patent grant. The whole process may involve responding to examination reports, appearing for hearing, etc. The total duration given to respond is 6 months from the issuing date of FER. This 6-month duration can be extended for a period of another 3 months by filing a request to the IPO.
- Patent Grant: This is the final step in getting a grant of patent in India. Once the patent application overcomes all the objections of the examiner, the patent office will grant a patent to the applicant. After getting the patent, the IPO publishes it in the patent gazette. Patent gazette is the online patent application database where publication of all the patent applications takes place.
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