Each country follows its own predefined procedure of receiving patent applications, examining the applications and granting patents or rejecting patent grants. Based on the procedure followed by a patent office, the time required to have a patent granted to your invention can vary.
Indian Patent Office (IPO) also follows a predefined procedure, and this article provides an overview of the procedure and timelines corresponding to patenting your invention in India.
Some of the steps in this process revolve around the phrase “priority date”. Priority date is the date of filing of the first patent application for your invention. For example, if you have filed a patent application for your invention in US on January 01, 2010 and thereafter, you filed a patent application for the same invention in India on March 10, 2010, then the priority date will be January 01, 2010. On the other hand, if you haven’t filed any patent application for your invention previously, then the data of filing of patent application in India will be the priority date of your patent application.
The flowchart provided in this article illustrates the timelines involved in this process. The steps in blue blocks are actions that have be taken by you (applicant) and the steps in white block are actions that are taken by the IPO.
File a patent application in the IPO. I think you might find our articles on “Patent Application Filing Procedure/Process in India” useful.
File an early publication request.
Filing an early publication request is an optional step. This request is filed to have your patent application published early. Filing an early publication request helps in expediting the patent examination process.
If you file an early publication request, then your patent application will be published by the IPO, generally, within 1 week from the data of receiving the request.
If the early publication request is not filed, then the IPO publishes your patent application after 18 months from the priority date.
File a request for examination. This request can be filed within 48 months from the priority date. Note that the IPO will not examine your patent application, unless this request is filed. Hence, if you wish to expedite the patent process, early filing of the examination request is advised.
Once the IPO receives your request for examination, the IPO puts your application in queue for examination. Subsequently, your patent application will be examined by the IPO. In light of the examination, if the IPO is of the opinion that your patent application satisfies all the requirement of patentability, then a patent is granted to your invention.
On the other hand, after examining your application, if the IPO is of the opinion that the requirements of patentability are not met, then a First Examination Report (FER) is issued.
You will have to respond to the FER within 6 months from the date of the FER. However, it is advisable to respond as early as possible. By responding early, you provide an opportunity to the IPO to issue another examination report if the IPO is not convinced by your response to issue a patent.
Please note that issuance of subsequent examination reports by the IPO and responding to the same by the applicant can occur within 12 months from the date of the FER.
Also, note that you can request the IPO for a hearing and the IPO is obligated to provide you the same.
In light of the communication with the IPO, the IPO can either grant a patent or reject granting of a patent.
Note that, if the IPO does not grant a patent, then you may, if you wish, appeal against the decision of the IPO. The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) is authorized to hear such appeals.
Please note that, the most important factor in filing a patent application is preparing a patent specification. Drafting a patent specification is a highly skilled job, which can be only preformed by persons who have both techinical as well as patent law expertise. If a person or company is serious about protecting their intellectual property, it is highly recommeded to use the services of professional patent practitioners. To know more about this, you can read our article on this here.
I hope this article helps you in filing patent applications in India. Please feel free check our patent services page to find out if we can cater to your patent requirements. You can also contact us to explore the option of working together.
Best regards – Team InvnTree