Tag Archives: patent publication

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
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Team InvnTree

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

Should I apply for a patent before publishing my invention?

We come across several individuals who publish their work, and thereafter explore the option of patenting. Hence, we have penned down our thoughts on effects of publication on patenting.

Even before we delve into the topic, we would like to state the fact that, patent laws are jurisdiction specific, and varies from one country to another. The law in the US gives an inventor a period of 12 months from the date of such publication to apply for a patent. However, the law governing the patent system in India is significantly different.
 
In India, when the patent office examines a patent application, it tries to determine whether the subject matter intended to be protected in the patent application is anticipated or not. To determine anticipation, publications in India or elsewhere, which exist before the date of filing of the Indian patent application, are considered. In a scenario wherein the inventor himself has made a publication before filing the patent application, will still be considered as “prior art”. The inventors own publication would result in anticipation of the subject matter sought to be patented by his patent application, and a patent will be rejected.
 
Hence, it is advisable to apply for a patent before considering publication elsewhere, especially if you wish to seek patent protection in India and European countries.
 
We hope you found this article useful. You may also be interested in reading our related article about "Can publicly disclosed inventions be patented in India?"    
 
Feel free to write to us at contact@invntree.com if you have any comments, queries or want to avail our services.
 
Best regards,
Team InvnTree

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

Can the details of my invention disclosed in the patent application be maintained as a secret?

Often innovators wish to have their innovation protected by a patent, and at the same time are concerned that, publication of their patent application will enable competitors to copy their innovation. A common question posed by innovators is, whether it is possible to protect their innovation by a patent and at the same time restrict details of the information disclosed in their patent application from public access. A simple and straight forward answer to the previous question is, NO, it is not possible to get patent protection and at the same time restrict details of the information disclosed in the patent application from public access.

In order to understand the reason behind why such a provision is not extended to inventors, one will have to look at some of the fundamentals of the patent system.
 
First of all, the patent system enables a patent owner to stop third party from commercializing his patented technology. In other words, third party should know what technology is patent protected, so that they do not infringe on existing patents. Hence, details of the technology that is protected by patents have to be made public information.
 
Secondly, the patent system in essence is designed to encourage improvement in science and technology. In order to encourage such improvement, innovators are given an incentive, i.e. patent rights for 20 years, in exchange for disclosure of their technology. By making these disclosures available to the public, the system enables public at large to understand state of the art and bring about further improvements. Therefore, the fundamentals of the patent system do not permit grant of patent rights while preventing public access to details disclosed in the patent.
 
Having said that, some countries, such as US, will withhold publication of the patent application, subject to certain conditions, only till a patent is granted. However, once a patent is granted, the granted patent will be eventually published.
 
In India however, the patent application will be published after 18 months from the filing date (priority date) of the patent application. In case the patent applicant does not wish to have the patent application published, then the only option is to withdraw the patent application. The withdrawal of the patent application has to happen 3 months before the date the publication of patent application is supposed to happen. In case of withdrawal, the patent application will not be available for public access, and at the same time, the applicant looses the opportunity of a potential patent grant corresponding to the withdrawn patent application. In certain scenarios, such as change in the business environment, applicants explore the above option.
 
We hope you found this article useful.
Feel free to write to us at contact@invntree.com if you have any comments, queries or want to avail our services.
 
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