A Patent is an exclusive right granted by the Indian Patent Office to the inventor for a limited period of twenty years. The patent application shall include full disclosure of such invention and to get the patent rights, the invention shall qualify certain standards laid down as per the patent act. The patentee enjoys the exclusive statutory right to use, offer, make, sell or import patented products and prevent any unauthorized use of the patented product or process within the country where the patent is granted and valid. Patent rights are valid for 20 years then it available to the public for free use. The patent rights may also cease to exist due to non-payment of the renewal fee.
Different Types of Patent Application are
Ordinary Patent Application:
If the applicant does not want to file with priority claim or without any reference to any other application under process then the applicant has to opt for an Ordinary or Non-Provisional application.
Provisional or Complete Patent Application
A Provisional Patent Specification is a preliminary application before filing for the final patent. It elucidates the invention in a comprehensive manner but not completely. It is not mandatory but usually filed before the Application for complete specification. As per section 9 of the Indian patent act, if the applicant fails to file the complete application within 12 months of filing the provisional specification, then the application will be deemed to be abandoned.
A convention application is filed for claiming a priority date based on the same or substantially similar application filed in any of the convention countries.
PCT International Application
To streamline the process of Patent application and filing in many countries in a single go, the concept of PCT International Phase Application was brought into effect. This category of application can be validated in up to 142
PCT National Phase Application
Talking about PCT National Phase Application, this application has to be filed in each country separately in which protection is sought. PCT however does not guarantee grant of patent as it is the discretion of the patent office (national or regional) of each country to grant or reject the patent application.
Patent of Addition
Section 54 of the statute lays down guidelines for patent of addition according to which if the applicant desires to modify or improve an already filed patent application, then the applicant can file patent of addition.
The applicant before the grant of the patent feels that the exiting patent application can be divided to claim two independent patent applications, and then they can opt for divisional patents. The date of filing of divisional patent is same as the date of filing of main application.
Stages of Patent Registration:
Step- 1: Patent search:
Before filing the application, one has to conduct a patent search and check the eligibility of registering the Patent.
Step- 2: Submission of Provisional specification/ complete specification:
After a thorough patent search and preliminary check- the next step is to draft a patent application as per FORM-1, accompanied by the patent specification as per FORM-2 If one files a provisional specification- then a complete specification has to be filed within 12 months. In case of default, the applications stand abandoned.
Step- 3: Publication of application:
After 18 months of the filing of the application, the application will be published. However, a request for early publication (within nine months) can be made at the patent office.
Step- 4: Request for examination:
Once the application is filed, a request for examination of the application must be made within 48 months from filing the application or priority date as per FORM-18. The earlier done is better. The Patent Officer will conduct a thorough search and then draft a FER (First Examination Report), which will contain a detailed analysis of the invention and objection if any
Step- 5: Examination report and Reply to objections
After placing the request for examination, the Indian Patent Office will scrutinise the application and examine it for the patentability criteria and issue the detailed report of the application. This report is known as first examination report which will state if the patent can be granted or not. If no, then the reasons for rejection or objection and will also state if any clerical changes have to be made. In case any objections are raised by the IPO, then applicant has Six Months’ time from date of issue of examination report to comply with the objections raised in the registry.
Step- 7: Pre- grant oppositions:
After the application is published, as per Section 25(1) – any third party or the Government can challenge the grant of the application after publication but before the grant. Any person challenging the grant has to file in writing as per FORM 7-A the grounds of opposition and submit it to the Registrar within six months from the date of publication.
Note: Pre-Grant oppositions can be filed even before the examination of the application is concluded. However, it will be considered only after a request for examination is placed.
Step- 8: Reply to Oppositions:
In case any opposition is filed, the entire process of reply, evidence submission, and hearing process will occur. Once all the oppositions are apparent, the Patent Officer will grant the Patent.
Step- 9: Grant of Patent:
Once everything is clear, the Patent will be granted, and the invention will be open for any post-grant opposition.
Term of patent grant:
A Patent is granted for a period of twenty years from the date of application or the priority date and is subject to annual renewals also known as Patent Annuity Payment.