Intellectual Property has always played an increasingly significant role in today’s technology-driven society. Patents are an important asset for an organization. Hence, the innovative strength of an organization can be measured through its patenting activities. Not just the number of patents, it’s also the quality of patents that makes the corporation more demanding. Grant of a patent is a long process that entails multiple checks on the novelty, non-obviousness, and industrial applicability of the invention
Imagine that you get a breakthrough idea about an application. So, you try and build the application. Your idea is now a real invention and it works. But, with all the excitement of this invention comes some fear of the idea being copied. To get ownership of this invention and protect it from being copied, one can file a patent for their ideas. Let us walk you through the process to file a patent.
What is a Patent and how does it help innovators?
A patent is a statutory right granted by the respective governments. It gives one exclusive right and bars others from making, using, selling, and importing products or processes, based on the patented invention without one’s prior permission.
What are the criteria for patentability?
For an invention to be patentable, the criteria of patentability are as follows:
To obtain patent rights and complete the process of patent registration seamlessly, the invention should be unique. The work should be different from the already existing ones.
The idea should stand out from the others. It should be something that one can’t easily predict. As per the Patent Act 1970, there must be an inventive step to complete the process of the patent application.
The idea or invention must have practical applications in some form or the other. They must provide practical utility and should not be vague. Moreover, it must serve industrial applications and purposes.
From where to start
The first step starts with a prior art search which means a thorough search of various patent databases, and technical literature and can even include a market survey. This is for determining if the invention is novel and non-obvious on the date of filing the application. If it is not so, then a patent cannot be granted for such an invention.
Essentials that patent application must comprise of
Once the patentability of the invention is established after a thorough prior art search, a patent application should be drafted. This document is known as the complete specification.
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It must comprise:
I. FULL NAME of the invention indicating its technical field
III. Prior art and drawbacks in the prior art (if any)
IV. Solution provided by the inventor to obviate the drawbacks of the prior art
V. A concise but sufficient description of the invention and its usefulness
VI. Details of the best method of its(invention’s) working
Steps of the registration process
I. File a patent application in the IPO
II. Patent application is published after 18 months or one has to request for early publication
III. File a request for examination along with requisite fees within 48 months from the date of filing-without the request the application will not be examined (Form 18)
IV. First Examination Report (FER) is issued if the Patent Office is not satisfied
V 12 months time to respond to the FER
VI. Pre-grant opposition can be filed by any person after the date of publication of the application but before the grant of patent
VII. If requirements are satisfied, the patent will be granted and notified in the Patent Office Journal
Once the application has been drafted, one needs to file the patent application with the Indian Patent Office in the prescribed format and submit it along with the requisite fees. One can also file their patent application online
The term of every patent in India is 20 years from the date of filing.