How Much Does it Cost for a Provisional Patent?

Though it is not mandatory, it is considered a good practice by patent professionals to file the provisional specification before the complete specification. The charges for filing the provisional specification depend on the type of the entity making the application.

Any property is dear to an individual when acquired by hard work. This is true both for tangible and intangible property. Intellectual property falls under intangible assets and covers several aspects like patents, copyrights, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, etc. Patents constitute a major branch of intellectual property and the revenue of several R&D establishments is solely dependent on their patents. Further, the innovative index of a nation is assessed by the number of patents filed and granted in the country.

The process of getting a patent granted is not only tedious and quite time-consuming but also a costly affair. Also, there are a number of steps that need to be adhered to, like filing the specification documents and responding to office actions at the stipulated time as directed by the Patents Act, 1970. The patent application, the specifications, and the forms must be filed along with the required fee in the Indian Patent Office. Once again, the charges are dependent on a number of factors like the type of specification the inventors file, and whether they opt for the routine route or expedited route of filing. Also, the number of pages in the specification, the number of claims, etc determine the filing charges. While this is the official fee, most often a patent agent is required to draft and file an invention. So, the professional fee of engaging the patent professionals must also be included.

Provisional Patent Application:

There are two types of patent specifications as provided by the Patents Act, 1970. The provisional and complete specifications. The provisional patent is filed at the earliest after the inventor comes up with the preliminary details of the invention. Once the provisional application is filed, the date of filing of the application is fixed as the priority date of the patent. One of the major advantages offered by a provisional patent application is the ability to fix the priority date at the earliest.

The complete specification, as the name implies, must give the full details of the invention, the best method of performing the invention, its various embodiments, and most importantly the claims wherein the inventor claims the exclusive parts of the invention. The complete specification must be filed within 12 months from the date of filing the provisional application. Thus, filing the provisional specification, enables the inventor to have interim protection and also gives the time period of one whole year to work further on the invention.

However, the filing of the provisional application is not mandatory and the applicant can also opt to file the complete specification directly. In that case, the date of filing of the complete specification is counted as the date of priority.


Cost for Filing a Provisional Patent Application:

The cost of filing a provisional application depends on the type of entity filing the application. In the case of natural persons, start-ups, small entities, or educational institutions, it costs ₹1600 and all other entities like corporate companies, whether alone or along with natural persons, start-ups, small entities, or educational institutions are charged ₹8000 for online filing. The exhaustive list of fees payable for various processes pertaining to the filing of patents can be checked on the official website. Filing the provisional specification is much cheaper as compared to filing the complete specification. Also, by opting to file the provisional the inventor gets to use the tag “patent-pending” and market the concerned products until the complete specification is filed.

 An additional fee is required if the number of pages of the specification is in excess of 30 for each sheet and if the number of claims is more than 10, for each claim. However, claims are not included in a provisional specification and are only included in the complete specification. The filing of the complete specification does not attract any separate fee as long as there aren’t more than 30 pages or more than 10 claims in the specification document. The patent application is filed through form 1, while the specification documents, whether provisional or complete, are filed in form 2.

Documents Required to be Filed Along with Provisional Specification:

The following documents have to be furnished along with the provisional specification in Form 2:

  •   Form 1 – Application for the grant of a patent
  •   Form 3 – Statement and Undertaking under Section 8 of the Patents Act, 1970 pertaining to the foreign applications
  •   Form 5 – Declaration of Inventorship
  •   Form 26 – Power of Attorney (required to be filed if the inventor engages a patent professional like a patent agent or a patent attorney)
  •   Stipulated Fee as stated above.

The fee stated above is only the official fee payable at the Indian Patent Office and does not include the professional fee of the patent agent or attorney. Given the complexity of patents, it is the practice to engage proficient patent professionals for drafting and filing patents. Inventors who are keen to get their inventions patented often follow this route though they are allowed to draft and file their patents themselves. Experts in the field opine that it is always better to engage professionals to do the patent drafting as it would be precise and would increase the chances for the applicant to get the patent granted. Once again, engaging a professional would attract a fee for the services extended by them. That is also dependent on various factors like whether the applicant is asking for a provisional or a complete specification to be drafted. The professionals also help the applicant at every stage that follows the filing of specifications like responding to office actions, attending hearings, etc.

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