Patents

What Is the Process of Patent Filing in India?

You want to apply for a patent but do not know the following steps. Here you have a step-by-step guide to help you file for your patent. 

In today’s technology-driven business landscape, for any business, it is becoming imperative to safeguard their technological advantage by keeping it hidden from their business rivals. Any potential theft of their intellectual property can completely ruin their business. Thus, to stay ahead in the competition and claim a competitive edge over their business rivals, every organisation must try to protect and develop its innovative strength. Because of this challenge, businesses nowadays are assigning greater importance to patents. They are applying for an increasing number of patent filing. But it needs to be understood that it is not only the number of patents but also the quality of patents they are accruing that necessarily establish their comparative advantages. 

Steps for Applying for a Patent 

Applying for a patent and granting a patent is quite complex and lengthy in India.  The process involves multiple checks to guarantee the claim for innovation. It verifies that the claim of the invention has industrial applicability indeed and checks for non-obviousness. A statutory body under the Government of India is authorised to grant a patent. After being granted a patent, a business or individual holds the legal right to manufacture or use or even sell his right. This exclusive legal right is granted for a maximum period of 20 years. The duration is calculated from the day of applying for a patent.

Conceiving the Invention


The first and foremost prerequisite for applying for a patent is to understand the technological landscape of the related field. The inventor needs to have a clear idea about the existing technological development and then must try to establish how his invention is different or, so to say, unique. This is important because a clear understanding of these essential features will help him establish the superiority of his invention and how it will benefit the existing businesses. Once he can identify such features, it will be much easier to convince the statutory authority that his invention is a patentable subject matter. 

Patent Search 


The Patents Act in India makes it mandatory for the statutory authority to check the invention’s novelty. To ensure that, the individual applicants should also extensively do research and formulate a patentability report. Such a report must examine any possible case of similarity or non-obviousness. For that, information available in the public domain is considered the baseline.  Nonetheless, the applicants can choose to overstep this process and directly apply for a patent. But to avoid overlapping or any other unnecessary glitches that will further delay the process, it is advisable to follow these steps.

Patent Drafting  

After thoroughly understanding and considering the existing techno-business environment and the latest innovations in that field, the applicant can draft his patent application. 

The patent application draft must have the following components:

  • Abstract,
  • Claims,
  • Background, 
  • Description, 
  • Drawing (if applicable) 

Drafting a good patent application requires adequate disclosure related to the invention. For this part, one needs to be meticulous and thorough not to overlook any necessary details which may potentially jeopardise the efficacy of a patent.  

Filing for Patent 

All these previous steps can be treated as the background of a patent application process. After successfully drafting the patent application, it must be submitted to the authorised government patent office.  The applicant will receive a patent application number for filling Form 1 patent application.

 If your invention is very nascent, you can fill up a provisional patent application form. You get an extra 12 months to complete the residual work. For this type of patent application, inventors need to fill up Form 2. Early filing for a patent can give you a potential advantage.

Start-ups and small business entities need to file for patents in India by filling up Form 28. 

Patent Publication of the Application

After filing for a patent by furnishing all necessary details, the application for a patent is published after one and a half years from the date of filing. The applicant can choose to publish his application without further waiting for one and a half years. He needs to appeal for permitting him after filling up Form 9 and paying the prescribed fees. 

Request for Patent Examination


Though the publication of a patent application is an automatic process, you need to request the patent office to examine the patent application separately. Ordinarily, such requests are made within four years from the date of filing of the patent application.  After receiving this request, the patent controller assigns a patent examiner to check whether the application satisfies all patentability criteria. 

Under the Patent Act, such patentability criteria are based on – 

  • Novelty
  • Inventive step 
  • Non-obviousness 
  • Suitable for industrial applicability 

Based on these criteria, First Examination Report (FER) is prepared. After paying a prescribed fee, the applicant can appeal for expediting the examination process. 

Respond to the Objections

If the patent office has any objection or needs further clarification regarding the patent applications, applicants remain obliged to respond via the written application. This document should try to answer any ambiguity or complaint highlighted in the examination report. By successfully negating the objections applicant can prove the patentability of his invention. 

Grant of Patent

After successfully defending the claim and proving the fulfilment of patentability of his invention, the applicants can expect to be granted patents. Granting of the patent is notified through publication in journals. These journals are referred to check the fulfilment criteria. 

Conclusion:

Applying for a patent is not easy, and experts reveal that, as an investor, one needs to face several challenges. But why should you file a patent in the first case? Most of the applicants’ have a number of questions associated with the application for a patent. However, if you have invented a business idea or a business product, you are liable to apply for a patent to protect the given product or the concerned business idea. Most of the applicants can appoint qualified patent attorneys to handle the application of a patent in the context of the product or business idea. However, the procedure for application needs to be done correctly, and all necessary documents pertaining to the patent application need to be enclosed. Taking professional help is essential, but filing a patent might require the applicant’s involvement to a large extent. It is best to appoint a patent attorney who can look into the intricacies to facilitate the process of patent application in a particular context.

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