The registration of Patents in India is controlled and looked after by the Controller of Trademark and Patents. Patent protection is provided on the basis of 'first to file'. Hence, it's important that the inventive process or product is not disclosed before seeking a patent registration.
Once the inventor files a patent application with the Patents Office, there will be a number of steps that are to be completed in order to secure protection. The entire patent registration process divides into 7 steps, as follows:
Patent Search is done by searching for already granted patents and any published patents by using a patent search database. The patent search is done to check:
Provisional specification or Provisional patent application is an initial step that is done by the inventor before filing a regular patent application.
This is done in a situation where - the invention has reached a stage where proceeding to patent the invention is the best option to safeguard the right of the inventor, however, the practical applicability (industrial applicability) of the invention has not yet been ascertained to proceed for a regular patent. In such a situation, it is recommended to file a provisional application.
The Provisional patent application filed with the Controller of Trademark and Patent is a complete disclosure of the invention, but no claims are provided in the application.
A provisional application is considered advantageous because :
More: How to draft provisional patent application?
Complete specification application to the patent office should be made in such a manner that the invention must be clear to the person who is skilled in that particular art.
Complete specification filed by the applicant must be a holistic attempt at describing and defining the invention, so that, the patent office does not raise any objections.
The complete specification application must include:
Once a patent application is filed with the patent office, the patent office publishes the patent in the official journal after 18 months from the date of filing. The published patent is open to the public for objections against the same if any.
Examination report is not issued automatically by the patent office. A person who has applied for a patent (or a third-party interested in the application) can file a request for the examination report. Examination requests can be made to the patent office by paying the prescribed fees. The application for the examination should be made within 48 months of the priority date of the application. Any applicant that does not file application for examination within 48 months is considered abandoned or withdrawn.
The patent application is analyzed by the patent office to check the patentability and other basic shortcomings in the patent application. The FER sent by the patent office should be analyzed thoroughly for objections and any amendments to be made in the complete specifications. Filling a notable response eases the patent application process.
Once all the objections raised in the examination report have been submitted, and the examiner of the patent is satisfied with the application then, the patent office will grant the patent. Whereas, if the examiner of the patent is not satisfied with filed reply they can deny the grant of the patent.
An Invention, to be considered patentable, should meet the following 3 criteria as mentioned in the Patents Act.
Patent application to the Patent office can be made in 2 forms, i.e. either electronically or through a physical filing made at an appropriate office.
The patent office charges 10% more fees than if the patent application is filed online.
The patent application, according to section 6 and 134 of the Patents Act, can be filed by:
Patent application once obtained will last for a period of 20 consecutive years. During this period the inventor or the assignee has a monopolistic right over the use of the invention.