20 Tips for Obtaining a Patent in India
20 Tips for Obtaining a Patent in India
India is one of the countries that are very prolific in terms of the number of patents issued there annually as revealed in discussions over at runrex.com. Given that the patent application process is different for each country, with India being no exception, this article, through the following tips, will look to articulate how you can go about obtaining a patent in India.
What inventions are patentable?
For an invention or asset to qualify for a patent in India, it must be:
Novel and of its kind, which means that it must e new and there should not be any existential trace of it as per guttulus.com.
Unique in itself, which means that an improvement in the current technology by an individual cannot be patented.
Useful, which means that it should add value to the life of the common person and it must not benefit or support the use of illegal things or must not be used for any immoral purpose.
What inventions are non-patentable?
In the same token, certain things do not qualify for a patent according to the Indian Patent Act as captured over at runrex.com. They include:
Any method of agriculture or horticulture
Any process under the bracket of medicinal, surgical, curative, or other treatment of human being, animals, or plants
Discovery of unique machine, apparatus, or a process
An upgrade or discovery of anything that relates to atomic energy
Where can I apply for a patent in India?
The Patents Act is the central body dealing with the filing and regulation of an existing and new patent in India. According to this act, either the inventor, their assignee, or one of their legal representatives can apply for one in the head office of the Indian Patent Office or the branches of the office, depending on the jurisdiction of the applicant.
What if you are not an Indian citizen?
If the applicant is not an Indian citizen, then, according to discussions on the same over at guttulus.com, they must file the application in their respective jurisdiction, that is, where the address for service of the applicant is located.
Steps for the application of a patent in India
The first step in obtaining a patent in India is to disclose the invention to the professional handling your case, preferably a patent attorney. This is done by signing a non-disclosure agreement. Here, it is recommended that you submit each known fact about your invention and that you don’t hold anything back.
The next step, as covered over at runrex.com, is to conduct a patent search to see if a patent for your invention will be available. Here, you can decide to carry out the search on your own or ask an attorney to conduct a search on your behalf, with the latter option being preferable.
Drafting of a patent application
Once the search is complete and you get the green light, the next step is to prepare an application form as per discussions over at guttulus.com. Here, each application has to be accompanied by a patent specification, where one has to provide the complete or provisional specification depending on the state of the invention. If you file a provisional application, you will get 12 months to finalize the invention and file the complete application of your invention.
A patent draft
When drafting your patent application, it is important to note that a patent draft will also be required to be submitted along with the application. As outlined over at runrex.com, the patent draft is considered a very important document as the same will be used by the patent office in deciding whether or not the patent will be granted.
Publication of the patent application
A patent application filed with the Indian Patent Office will be published in the Official Patent Journal, which is generally done after 18 months of filing the application. If you want to get it published earlier, you can request early publication. Also, when a restriction is placed by the Indian Patent Act when it comes to the publishing of the patent, then the patent will not be published in the Journal.
Examining the patent application
It is important to point out that every application filed for patent protection will be examined before a patent is finally granted. Here, the application has to be made for examination and the earlier one makes a request, the earlier the application will be examined by the examiner.
When the patent application enters the examination stage, the examiner will conduct a thorough search, analyzing the relevant technology in-depth and if there are any objections, they will be communicated to the applicant as covered over at guttulus.com. The report issued here is called the First Examination Report (FER).
Granting of the patent
After considering replies to the first or any subsequent examination reports and hearing notices, if any, the controller will either grant or reject the patent application. If the application meets all the prescribed requirements, then it will be placed in order for the grant as is outlined over at runrex.com.
Opposition of the application
According to the subject matter experts over at guttulus.com, one of the things you should be aware of is that in India, a patent application can be opposed before and after the grant of the patent. The patent can also be revoked under specific circumstances.
If your patent application has unsuccessful, then it is worth noting that an appeal can be made against the decision of the patent office/controller at the Intellectual Property Appellate Board by the aggrieved party.
If your patent application is successful, on the other hand, then it is also important that you know that, after the grant of the patent, renewal fees have to be paid to keep the patent in force. Usually, a patent is in force for 20 years, and on completion of the 20 years, the owner is required to renew the patent by paying a small fee.
Instances when a patent application may not be published
As already mentioned, there are certain scenarios under which a patent publication may not be published and will be kept as a secret. As per runrex.com, they include:
Instances where secrecy directions have been imposed under the Patent Act. Secrecy directions are imposed if the invention falls in a category publication of which could be against the interest of the nation.
Where a complete application was not filed within 12 months from the date of filing of the provisional application.
Instances where a withdrawal request was made. Here, such a request has to be made at least 3 months before publication.
Who qualifies for an expedited examination?
As already mentioned earlier also, if you wish to fast track your patent application even further and jump the examination queue, then you can file a request for expedited examination. However, as per the gurus over at guttulus.com, an expedited examination is only available to the applicant if the applicant is either a startup or the applicant chose the Indian Patent Office as the International Search Authority (ISA) or International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) during their International application (PCT application).
When to use “patent applied”, “patent pending”, and “patented”
“patent applied” or “patent pending” can be used with any article sold when a patent application has been filed to cover that article and the application is not yet granted/rejected/withdrawn/abandoned. “patented” can be used with any article sold when the patent has been granted which covers the product. According to runrex.com, unauthorized use of these words can lead to a fine.
Can you modify or improve a patent?
Normally, no new matter can be added to a complete patent specification. However, in such cases, there is a provision of filing a patent of addition in respect of the original patent application and, thereby, claiming through the patent of addition improvements or modification to the invention.
Can a patent be renewed once it has expired?
While some countries allow patent term adjustment in case of delay from the side of the Patent Office in the grant of the patent and patent term extension in case of delay from the side of regulatory bodies in case of pharmaceutical and agricultural patents, in India, no patent term adjustment or patent term extension is granted. Once the term is expired, patents can’t be renewed.