In our tech-driven culture, the significance of intellectual property has increased over time. Patents could prove to be a crucial asset for any business. In fact, a businesses’ patenting operations can be used to gauge its level of innovation and value. And it’s not just the number of patents, it’s also the quality of patents that make a business more demanding.
The process of patent filing in India involves several reviews of the invention’s novelty, uniqueness, and industrial viability. A government-issued patent grants an inventor the sole authority to create, use, and market his unique creation.
In India, the exclusive patent right is granted for a period of 20 years from the date of patent filing. The key objective is to preserve developed inventions and promote further research and advancements.
If you too have been wondering about patent filing in India, you’re up for a treat. In this article, we’ll discuss how to file a patent in India.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Step 1: Envisioning your Invention
This is the very first step for an innovator who is looking to move forward with their innovative idea. Remember, it is crucial to gather as much data as you can. What is the invention’s field, what are the benefits, and how will it help improve currently available solutions are just some of the many important points that the inventor must carefully mull over.
Not every innovation qualifies as a patented idea. Subject matter that cannot be patented are listed in Section 3 of the Patents Act. Therefore, the inventor must be certain that the invention does not fit into any of those categories that are not patentable before delving deeper into their innovative ideas.
Step 2: Search and Drafting of Patent
Inventors must conduct a search for patentability as soon as they have clarity for their innovation. Searching for patentability is an important step when you plan for patent filing in India as it will help you understand if your invention is unique or not.
According to the Patents Act, all inventions must be unique and novel. The patentability opinion can be examined after a thorough search and the creation of a patentability report. A patentability search discovers the closest possible innovation (publicly known) relevant to your invention and provides an opinion on the patentability of your invention, which may be positive, negative, or neutral. However, it is strongly advised to conduct a patentability search before you file a patent in India.
The next step is patent application drafting. The application must be categorized into several sections, including the claims, background, description, drawings, abstract, and summary. To effectively disclose the invention, each of these components must be carefully outlined. It pays to ensure 100% accuracy when writing the patent application.
Step 3: Patent Filing Application
This is perhaps the most important step of patent filing in India. Innovators must prepare and submit a patent application to the government patent office using patent application Form 1. Upon successful submission of the patent applications, a receipt is generated with the patent application number.
If the innovation is still in its early stages, Form 2 can also be used to submit a provisional patent application. A provisional application offers the advantage of securing a prior date of filing, which is critical in the patent industry. In addition, the innovators get 12 months to submit the entire specification.
Start-ups and small businesses are required to submit their patent applications using application Form 28.
Step 4: Application Publication
The application is published once 18 months have passed since the date of filing the complete specification. The candidate does not have to fulfill any special requirements in order to be published. If the applicant wants to request early publication before the 18-month cooling-off period, they must submit Form 9 together with the requisite cost. The patent application is typically published one month after an early publication request is made.
Rule 24 – As per the Rule 24 of the Patent Act 2003, a patent application is typically closed to the public under sub-section (1) of section 11A for a period of eighteen months following the date of filing the application or the date of priority of the application, whichever is sooner. With the caveat that the Controller must publish the application in the journal within a month of either the deadline or the date on which a request for publication under Rule 24A was made.
Rule 24A– As per the Rule 24 of the Patent Act 2003, Form 9 must be used to submit a request for publication under section 11A’ subsection (2). Anyone may contest the award of a patent through a Pre-grant opposition after publication. When a patent application has been published but a patent has not yet been granted, according to Section 25(1) of the Patents Act of 1970, any person may, in writing, oppose the award of a patent on the grounds listed in Sections 25(1)(a) to (d) (k). Opposition before the grant is what this is called. The applicant must submit a response when the controller has informed them of the opposition, at which point the controller can make a judgment based on the merits.
Step 5: Patent Examination Request
The applicant must request the patent office to examine the patent application because, unlike the publication, the examination is not an automatic procedure. According to Form 18, the standard request must be submitted within 48 months of the date of filing the patent. In response to such a request, the controller assigns the application to a patent examiner who reviews it for novelty, uniqueness, innovation, and industrial applicability in order to determine whether it meets the requirements for patentability. The applicant is then given the First Examination Report (FER) by the Examiner. Using Form 18A, the applicant can also ask for a quick evaluation of their application.
Rule 24C– On any of the following grounds, an applicant may submit a Form 18A request for expedited examination along with the cost mentioned in the first schedule only by electronic transmission properly authenticated within the window of time specified in Rule 24B:
- that India has been deemed as the International Searching Authority or elected as an International Preliminary Examining Authority in the relevant International Application or has been elected as the International Preliminary Examining Authority.
- If the applicant is a start-up.
Step 6: Responding to FER Objections
Applicants are required to respond to the patent office’s objections listed in the First Examination Report. The applicants are required to submit a formal, written response to the objection raised in the examination report. Applicants can refute any objections by demonstrating the invention’s patentability. They may request a physical hearing or a video conference, as they deem fit for responding to objections.
Step 7: Patent Grant
Once all the objections raised in the First Examination Report are addressed, the application would be submitted for a grant. Upon meeting all patentability conditions, applicants are granted a patent. A patent grant is announced in the patent journal.
According to Section 25(2) of the Patents Act of 1970, any person party may submit a notice of opposition to the Controller in the prescribed manner at any time following the grant of a patent but before the expiration of a year from the date of publication of the grant of a patent on any of the grounds listed in Sections 25(2)(a) to (d) (k).
Krishna Sharma is the Co-founder and Chief Business Officer at Eastern Peripheral Advisors, an award-winning marketing agency that specializes in Google ads Management, Social Media Optimization & Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), market research and design & development.