Tag Archives: patent Bangalore

Using Patents as a Marketing Tool – Good, Bad and the Ugly!

Marketing is one of the core functions in any business. This core function is carried out by working in conjunction with other functional units of companies. Working in conjunction with other functional units has known to help marketing teams in capitalizing on various aspects of the company to build brands and facilitate sales. 

One of the aspects that is being used increasingly over the past few years is patents. Using patents in marketing helps in sending across a wide range of messages. 

We recently conducted a survey to understand consumer perception when they recognize that a product is protected by a patent, be it through an advertisement or through information provided with the product itself. 

Largely, consumers seem to derive the below listed perceptions when they recognize that a product is protected by a patent:

  1. When a message about a product being protected by a patent is conveyed, the company as a whole is perceived to be innovative
  2. The patented product is perceived to be superior
  3. The patented product is perceived to be unique, as no one else can copy the patented product

I agree with the first perception to a large extent. The fact that a company has a patent granted, illustrates that the company has, at least to some extent, invested in innovation. Further, the company has long term (it generally take around 3.5 to 4 years to have a patent granted) vision in protecting their innovation. Hence, a perception that a company is innovative can be agreed upon. 

Further, as pointed out earlier, consumers perceive that a patented product is superior; this perception appears to be rather strong. However, while some patented products may be superior compared to other products in the market, it may not always be true. In over simplified terms, one can say that a patent was granted to a product or a process because the product has a feature or the process has a step that was not known to the public, prior to inventing the product or the process. However, it does not necessarily mean that the new feature or the process step is superior than the existing features or processes. Hence, a sweeping statement that a patented product is superior may not be accurate. 

While I have some objections with the second perception, I completely agree with the third perception. The patented product would be unique, at least to some extent, as compared to other products in the market. However, having an opinion that a patented product has some breakthrough innovation in it, may not be correct, considering that most innovations are incremental in nature and not breakthrough. The innovation in the product, be it incremental or breakthrough, the fact remains that the product is unique, as the product cannot be copied, since the product is protected by a patent. The common understanding among consumers that a patented product cannot be copied by other, and hence the product remains unique, appears to be greatly abused by marketers. 

Consumers to a large extent are not aware that patents are jurisdiction specific. In other words, a patent granted in US and not in India, cannot be enforced in India. Which means, if a patent for a product is not granted in India, and is granted only in the US, then anyone in India can copy the patented product without being liable for infringing on the rights of the US patent holder. 

I recently came across one such advertisement, which I think was trying to take advantage of incomplete understanding among the consumers about the patent system. The advertisement appeared in Times of India (TOI), Bangalore edition and was also found in TOI Mumbai edition. Image of the advertisement in the Mumbai edition is provided below. The advertisement is from a company called Advanced Hair Studio, and endorsed by Shane Warne!

InvnTree

Image source: Times of India

The advertisement stresses a lot on patents, with the word “patented” appearing 4 times in the advertisement, out of which, twice the company has used the word “patented”. Since, they have stressed substantially on patents, we wanted to find out the patent portfolio covering their technology. Surprisingly, while they have a few patents outside India, they don’t seem to have a single granted patent in India!

The advertisement gives an impression that their technology is protected by patents in India. However, considering that one of the most important aspects of patents, which is the jurisdiction in which it is granted, the advertisement should have mentioned that the technology is not protected by patents in India. 

Such usage of the word “patented”, commonly known as “false marking” may be interpreted as an effort to deceive the public. False marking is punishable in most countries, and in India (Indian Patent Act – Section 120), a fine extending up to INR 100000 (~$2200) may be imposed for such an offence. While, the extent of fine may not deter most companies from adopting false marking strategy for marketing, at least the knowledge that such practice is considered unethical, should stop them from adopting such strategies.

To sum it up, using patents as a marketing tool has a lot of positive effects on consumers. Hence, while marketers might use this strategy, ethical or not, to their advantage, consumers should absorb such messages with a pinch of salt. 

I hope this article helps in increasing knowledge about the patent system among consumers in general, and markets in specific.

Feel free to contact us (contact@invntree.com) or ask us a question and have it answered within 24 hours. Check our  patent services page to find out if we cater to your patent requirements. 

We specialize in offering patent support services to patent practitioners across the world.

Thanks,

Team InvnTree

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

Patent Application Filing Procedure-Process in India

Patent Application Filing Procedure-Process in India

Filing a patent application in the Indian Patent Office is the first step towards securing a patent to your invention in India. To file a patent application, a set of forms has to be submitted to the patent office. The forms can be submitted online (http://ipindiaonline.gov.in/epatentfiling/goForLogin/doLogin) if you have a class 3 digital certificate. Alternatively, you can send true copies (hard copies) to the patent office. The patent office charges 10% additional fee if applications are filed offline.

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:
 
Further, we have provided this article for knowledge purposes only. It is recommened to avail services of professionals to file patent applications, as mistakes will prove costly. Thorough understanding of the Indian Patent Act is essential for filing patent applications. Patent agents have understanding of the Indian Patent Act and are the only persons (other than the applicant themselves) authorized by the Patent office to file patent applications on behalf of the applicant. InvnTree employs patent agents.
 
Indian patent offices are located at Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. The patent application has to be filed in the appropriate office based on your/your company’s location. The table below provides the addresses of the patent offices in India and their respective territorial jurisdiction.
Office Address Territorial Jurisdiction
Mumbai

Intellectual Property Office, Boudhik Sampada Bhawan, Near Antop Hill Post Office, S.M.Road,Antop Hill, MumbaiI – 400 037.

Phone: 24137701, 24141026, 24150381, 24148165, 24171457 FAX : 24130387 EMAIL: mumbai-patent@nic.in

The States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, MadhyaPradesh, Goa and Chhattisgarh and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu & Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Chennai

Intellectual Property Office, Intellectual Property Office Building, G.S.T. Road, Guindy, Chennai-600032,

Phone: 044-22502081-84

FAX: 044-22502066,

Email: chennai-patent@nic.in

The States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territories of Pondicherry and Lakshadweep
New Delhi

Intellectual Property Office, Intellectual Property Office Building, Plot No. 32, Sector 14, Dwarka, New Delhi-110075,

Phone : 011-28034304, 28034305 28034306

FAX:011- 28034301,02

Email: delhi-patent@nic.in

The States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Delhi and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
Kolkata

Intellectual Property Office, Intellectual Property Office Building, CP-2 Sector V, Salt Lake City, Kolkata-700091,

Phone : 23671945, 1946, 1987,

FAX-033-2367-1988,

Email:- kolkata-patent@nic.in

The rest of India.
Once you have identified the patent office in which you have to file your patent application, it is now time to get an overview of the forms that have to be submitted.
 
To file a patent application, you will have to submit form 1, form 2, form 3 and form 5. Subsequent to filing these forms with the appropriate fees, you will receive a patent application number from the patent office. You can choose to file form 9 (optional) and form 18 along with fiing a complete application or after filing a complete application. You can download the Indian patent application filing forms.
 
In the table below, the list of forms that have to be submitted and their respective fees is provided. Please note that, the fee mentioned is for E-filing only. The patent office charges an additional fee of 10% over the fee for applications filed offline.
 

 

 

Form

 

 

 

Title

Patent office Fee (INR) 1$ = ~ 60 INR

E-Filing only

 

 

 

Comment

Applicant-Natural person/ Startup Applicant –

 

 

other than natural person

Small Entity Others except small entity
1 Application for Grant of Patent 1600 4000 8000 Mandatory
2 Provisional/Complete Specification No fee* No fee* No fee* Mandatory
3 Statement and Undertaking Under Section 8 No fee No fee No fee Mandatory
5 Declaration as to Inventorship No fee No fee No fee Mandatory
9 Request for Publication 2500 6250 12500 Optional
18 Request for Examination of Application for Patent 4000 10000 20000 Mandatory

 * – A fee of 160/400/800/sheet, based on the type of applicant, is applicable for each sheet exceeding 30 sheets in a patent specification. Further, a fee of INR 320/800/1600/Claim, based on the type of applicant, is applicable for each claim exceeding 10 claims in the patent specification.

Before reading further, I recommend reading our article “How much does it cost to get a patent in India?” I think it will help you in taking some decisions during the filing process.
 
​You may also calculate the patent office fee using our cost calculator below: All fee in USD.
 

Indian Patent Filing Cost Calculator

 
It should be noted that Forms 1, 2, 3 and 5 can be submitted online. All forms of the patent office can be filed online.
 
An overview of each of the forms is provided below.
 
Form 1 – Application for Grant of Patent
As the name suggests, this form is an application for grant of patent in India. In this form, you will have to furnish information, such as, name and address of the inventor(s), name and address of the applicant(s), information corresponding to prior patent applications relating to the current invention, which you or any authorized entity has filed, and some declarations, among other information.

 
(Added after receiving comments from Mr. Naren) Please note that a local communication address (address in India) has to be provided. This point is of importance to foreign (Non-Indian) applicants.
 
Form 2 – Provisional/Complete Specification
Form 2 is used to furnish your patent specification. The patent specification can be provisional or a complete patent specification depending of the type of patent application (provisional or complete) you are filing. You might find our article on “What are the different patent filing options?” useful.

 
If you are filing a provisional patent application, then use the following preamble in the first page of Form 2:

The following specification describes the invention

On the other hand, if you are filing a complete patent application, then use the following preamble in the first page of Form 2:

The following specification particularly describes the invention and the manner in which it is to be performed

Note that, if you are filing offline, 2 copies of the patent specification has to be sent to the patent office. Additionally, count the number of sheets and claims (extra fee for more than 30 sheets and more than 10 claims) and calculate the appropriate fee. While counting the sheets, even the drawing sheets will have to be taken into account.

Form 3 – Statement and Undertaking Under Section 8

Form 3 is used to furnish information/actions relating to patent applications filed in other countries for the current invention. Additionally, any information relating to the rights corresponding to the present patent application has to be furnished. Further, you would be using form 3 to undertake that you will be keeping the patent office informed in writing the details regarding corresponding applications for patents filed outside India. You can read more about this in ourarticle.

Form 5 – Declaration as to Inventorship
This application is used to declare the inventors of the subject matter sought to be protected using the current patent application.

 
Form 9 – Request for Publication
If this form is not filed, then the patent specification will be published by the patent office after 18 months from the priority date (filing of the first patent application for the current subject matter). On the other hand, by filing this form, you can generally have your patent specification published within 1 month from filing this form. Note that the patent rights start from the date of publication of the patent application (enforceable after grant of patent).

 
Form 18 – Request for Examination of Application for Patent
This form can be filed within 48 months from the priority date. The patent office will not consider your patent application for examination unless this form is filed. Hence, if you wish to expedite the patenting process, filing of form 9 and 18 at an early stage is advised. A startup can also request for expedited examination of their patent application. The fee for this is INR 8000. At present, the patent office has limited this request to about 1000 request in a year.

 
As a final note, I would advise you to go through our article only for the purpose of gaining knowledge of the patenting process, not as a guide to file patents on your own, since this will lead to adverse affects at a later stage.
 
You may read our other articles to gain more understanding of the patent system:
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