How soon after filing a patent application in India, will it be examined?

It has been a common misconception that, a patent application is queued for examination after it is filed at the Indian Patent Office (IPO). In India, filing a patent application does not essentially mean that an Applicant for the patent is requesting the IPO to examine his patent application. In fact, the Applicant can refrain from filing a request for examining his application up to 48 months from the filing date of the Indian patent application. It shall be noted that, if the Indian patent application is claiming priority from a corresponding patent application filed in a convention country or a PCT application, then the 48 month duration is calculated from the priority date of the Indian patent application.

In light of the above discussion, it is certain that, unless a request for examination is filed, the patent application will not be queued for examination. Having said that, by no means are we saying that just because an examination request has been filed, the patent application will be queued for examination. A second criterion has to be satisfied as well for the application to be queued for examination, and the second criterion is publication of the patent application. The patent application is published after 18 months from the date of filing the Indian patent application, unless an early publication request is filed. In case an early publication request is filed, then the patent application is normally published within 1 month from the date of filing such a request.
We can summarize the above content by mentioning that, a patent application will be queued for examination after both the below listed criteria are satisfied:
  • A request for examination of the patent application has been made
  • The patent application has been published
In case the Indian patent application is a national phase application, than the Indian patent application will be queued for examination after all the three below listed criteria are satisfied:
  • A request for examination of the patent application has been made
  • The patent application has been published
  • 31 months has passed from the priority date of the Indian patent application, unless “express” request for examination is filed       
The Indian patent office has introduced a expedited examination of patent applications, which is applicable if certain criteria is met. You can read more about this in our article.
 
The above mentioned are the criteria for the patent application to be queued for examination. Once queued, it can take a considerable amount of time, at least 2 years, to receive an examination report from the IPO. The current lot of patent applications, as per the year it was queued for examination, which are being issued examination reports, can be found here 
 
In order to expedite the patenting process in India, it is advisable to satisfy the above listed criteria as soon as possible.
 
I hope you found this article useful. If you have any queries, feel free to write to us at contact@invntree.com
Best regards,

Team InvnTree

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License

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