How to register a patent in India

Step 1: Performing a Patentability Search or Novelty Search to know if the invention is patentable or not?

What is Patentability Search?

Once you provide us with the invention details an optional step of patentability search can be performed. Patentability search or novelty search is performed to find out whether your invention is Novel or not, as novelty is one of the main patentability criteria for any invention. Another patentability criterion is that your invention must have an INVENTIVE STEP in it when it is compared with the existing prior arts. If your invention is having an ‘inventive step’, it qualifies for a patent, and we can go ahead with the patent drafting and patent application filing.

Step 2: Drafting and Filing of Patent Application

Patent Drafting

Patentability search is followed by drafting a patent application which can be either a provisional application or complete application based on the status of the invention. The inventor has to provide all the details related to the invention including the name of the invention, idea of the invention, working, advantages, industrial utility of the invention, diagrams or sketches (if any).

It must explain why the idea is original and innovative. A patent is techno-legal document; there are many rules to be followed while drafting claims, writing detailed description and making drawings.

Patent Filing

After patent is drafted and reviewed by the inventor, it would be filed in the patent office and a receipt would be generated with the patent application number. There are different types of patent applications:

Filing a provisional patent application

If the invention is not complete yet, then a provisional application can be filed. Once the provisional application is filed, the inventor will have 12 months’ time to file the complete application.

After filing a complete application, the applicant can file a request for early publication which is an optional step. If the request for early publication is not filed, the patent application will be published on expiry of 18 months.

Step 3: Preparation of a First Examination Report (FER)

A patent examiner specialized in a particular technical field assesses the patentability of your invention according to the criteria for patentability. The patent examiner will provide us with the First Examination Report containing the objections based on Novelty, Inventive Step and Industrial Applicability of the Invention. We will have to respond to first examination report in a span of 6 months and request a hearing.

Step 4: Publication of Patent Application

The application is published after 18 months of first filing. A request for early filing of the patent application can be made along with a prescribed fee by filing Form 9.

Step 5: Patent Examination

Patent Examination is the process by which the Patent Office examines the application to determine the patentability of the invention.

Formal request for Patent Examination can be filed within 48 months of first filing. If the patent examination request is not filed within the specified time limit the patent application shall be treated as withdrawn by the Indian Patent Office. It is mandatory under Indian Patent Act 1970.

Step 6: Patent Objections

Once the patent application is examined, then the patent examiner creates a first examination report, commonly called as FER which contains all the objections which are made to the submitted application. The first examination report submitted to the patent controller by the patent examiner generally contains prior arts (existing documents before the date of filing) which are similar to the claimed invention, and same is reported to patent applicant for which the applicant has to respond with clarifications proving the novelty of the submitted invention.

Step 7: Respond to Objection

The objections raised in the examination report have to be responded within 6 months of receiving the FER. There is no government fee for filing a response to First Examination Report, unless it is specified in the FER that a particular form with fees has to be filed.

Step 8: Grant of Patent

Once the submitted application is found in order and it meets all the patentability requirements, the patent is granted for the invention. Post patent grant, the patent has to be maintained by renewing it from time to time. Patent has a life time of 20 years and its maintenance for 20 years from filing date has prescribed renewal fee which has to be paid to patent office.

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