Applying for a patent can be difficult. However, you can secure your right relatively easily by applying for a provisional patent even before your invention is ready to be made public.
New ideas and inventions are key to the development of society. But making a new idea into a reality is not as easy as coming up with the idea itself. The invention can take a lot of investments in terms of money, time, and effort.
If these inventions can be copied and put to use by everyone, the original inventor might not be able to compensate for all the investments they have made. This can demotivate people from making inventions. So, to incentivise the inventor and companies that put money into R&D, patent rights were introduced.
Patent rights give the owner of it sole rights to manufacture, sell, or make any profits through the invention. A successful patent registration gives the owner 20 years of monopoly on the invention.
What Is a Patent and Provisional Patent?
Patent, in simple terms, means the exclusive rights and authority on the invention granted to an entity. Both natural persons and legal persons like companies can be owners of patent rights.
Under section 9 of the Indian Patent Act 1970, we classify the patents into two categories:
- Provisional patent: One can register for this patent during the process or design of the invention.
- Complete patent: One can register for this patent once the invention is complete and ready for a license with any business or use elsewhere.
A provisional patent is something you can obtain while the invention is still in progress instead of waiting until completion. This way, you get your invention protected sooner and avoid the risk of your idea being stolen. Once you get a provisional patent, you will have a year to finish the invention.
For example – Suppose an Engineer, Mr Ramesh is developing a design of valves for dam gates. He knew it would take a year to complete it. But his invention is unique. So, he decides to go for a provisional patent. He will get the protection of his design for 12 months.
Criteria for Patentability
Not every invention or design is patentable. There are some criteria that should be fulfilled for you to get a patent. To ensure your invention is eligible for patent our experts will run a patentability test to check if your invention follows the below criteria given by the Indian Patent Act. These include:
- Novelty: In simple terms, it means new. Patent registration of the idea or design must not have been done by any other individual
- Non-obvious: In the case of a previous design or idea, one must mandatorily add an inventive step to increase its usefulness and it should not be an addition that would be obvious to other people
- Utility for the industry: It should have a specific purpose that it can serve for the industry or the business the inventor develops it for.
Advantages of Provisional Patent
A provisional patent is relatively easier to get than a permanent patent. It also offers advantages which include the following:
- Cost-effective: The major concern for an inventor to get patent registration done is the cost. The provisional patent is to rescue. Unlike the high cost of registration for the complete patent, the provisional patent is cost-effective.
- Protection from infringement: Filing your patent in the form of the provisional patent has the benefit of protection for 12 months from the date of filing. This time is sufficient for the inventor to focus on the amendments, growth, and specifications of the invention to make it public.
- Tag: While filing your own patent, one can use the “Patent Pending” tag in the case of copying of ideas or design. This helps in taking legal actions against the other person violating the laws.
Details in a Provisional Patent
While filing your application for a provisional patent, one must provide the following details:
- Name of the invention (design/process)
- Provisional specifications
- Objective, purpose, target audience and industry of the invention
- A detailed description of the invention
Summing it up, the inventor has to provide a brief detail and report of the invention and its use.
Filing Provisional Patent- The Procedure
While filing, one has to fill a list of several forms and documents as per the Indian Patent Act and Patent Rules, 2003. These include:
Granting the patent. After the filing of the application, form submission is done within 6 months to get the final approval.
It has all the provisional specifications of the invention along with its description.
Used only with a foreign patent application.
It serves the purpose of declaration for the invention.
Declaration for the power of attorney to the patent agent.
Includes the e-filing fee and claim for a small entity, if required.
So, whether you are a creative person or an entrepreneur of a small, medium or Fortune 500 company, protecting your invention is quite easy with the provisional patent. You can register for this patent during the process or design of your invention.