How can I get patent in India for my project, idea or a product?
This is most common question raised in minds of anyone who becomes interested in knowing about patent in India and protecting the invention. This question comes from every sector and domain imaginable. You may be
Business owner : with an idea or product to patent
Research Scientist : with a new concept, formula to patent
Professional (employee) : with new idea for software or business method
ME or PHD holder : with research project to patent
Student : with intent to learn more about patents and how they can protect your ideas
The word “patent” continues to be most sought after word in business and Research and development community that is being searched over internet for more information and guidance... Possibly, you are influenced by reading about a patent related news and influenced by the idea of owning intellectual property right for invention, And you are trying to find information on
What is patent?
Is my idea patentable?
How to apply for patent in India?
How much it costs to get patent in India ?
You can read this information at many places online, in blogs, from government website on patent and from books. Yet it is not always easy to understand for every one coming from different background and different mindset. Moreover, many times questions like these may not have straight forward answers. Like any other law, Patent Law also involves certain degree of complexity.
So the best advice would be...
Get patent professional involved for writing and filing patent
Honestly saying, there are some inventors who have written their patents on their own, with unbelievable quality of balancing technical and legal aspects of patent, that it astonishes even experienced patent professionals. But this is rare case, more often than not people need professional help since patent is not only a technical document... it is a techno - legal document. Having an experienced patent professional (patent agent) guiding you through the process of getting your invention patented can make a large impact to an extent of patent granted or patent rejected.
Step 1: Write down the invention (idea or concept) with as much details as possible
Collect all the information about your invention such as:
Area of invention
Description of the invention what it does
How does it work
Advantages of the invention
Ideally, if you have worked on the invention during research and development phase you should have something call lab record duly signed with date by you and respective authority.
Step 2: include drawings, diagrams or sketches explaining working of invention
The drawings and diagrams should be designed so as to explain the working of the invention in better way with visual illustrations. They play an important role in patent application.
Step 3: check whether the invention is patentable subject matter
All inventions may not be patentable, as per Indian patent act there are certain inventions that are not patentable explained in detail in(inventions not patentable)
Step 4a: Patentability search
The next step would be finding out whether your invention meets all patentability criteria as per Indian patent act? That is,
The detailed explanation for patentability criteria is given here (what are patentability criteria’s). The patentability opinion is provided by the patent professionals up on conducting extensive search and forming patentability report.
Step 4b: Decide whether to go ahead with patent
The patentability report and opinion helps you decide whether to go ahead with the patent or not, chances are what you thought as novel might already been patented or know to public in some form of information. Hence this reports saves lots of time, efforts and cost of the inventor by helping him decide whether to go ahead with the patent filing process or not.
Step 5: Draft (write) patent application
In case you are at very early stage in the research and development for your invention, then you can go for provisional application. It gives following benefits:
Secures filing date
12 months of time to file complete specification
After filing provisional application, you secure the filing date which is very crucial in patent world. You get 12 months of time to come up with the complete specification, up on expiry of 12 months your patent application will be abandoned.
When you complete the required documents and your research work is at level where you can have prototype and experimental results to prove your inventive step you can file complete specification with patent application.
Filing the provisional specification is the optional step, if you are at the stage where you have complete information about your invention then you can directly go for complete specification.
Step 6: Publication of the application
Up on filing the complete specification along with application for patent, the application is published after 18 months of first filing.
An early publication request can be made along with prescribed fees if you do not wish to wait till the expiry of 18 months from the date of filing for publishing your patent application.
Generally the patent application is published within a month form request form early publication.
Step 7: Request for examination
The patent application is examined only after receiving request for examination that is RFE. Up on receiving this request the controller gives your patent application to a patent examiner who examinees the patent application with different patentability criteria like:
Patentable subject matter
The examiner creates a first examination report of the patent application upon reviewing it for above terms. This is called patent prosecution. Everything happening to patent application before grant of patent is generally called as patent prosecution.
The first examination report submitted to controller by 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.
Step 8: respond to objections
Majority of patent applicants will receive some type of objections based on examination report. The best thing to do it analyse the examination report with patent professional (patent agent) and creating a response to the objections raised in the examination report.
This is a chance for an inventor to communicate his novelty over prior arts found in the examination report. The inventor and patent agent create and send a response to the examination that tries to prove to controller that his invention is indeed patentable and satisfies all patentability criteria’s.
Step 9: clearing all objections
This communication between controller and patent applicant is to ensure that all objections raised in the patent application are resolved. (if not the patent will not be granted ) and the inventor has his fair chance to prove his point and establish novelty and inventive step over existing prior arts.
Up on finding the patent application in order of grant, it is grant to the patent applicant as early as possible.
Step 10: Grant of patent
The application would be placed in order for grant once it is found to be meeting all patentability requirements. The grant of patent is notified in the patent journal which is published time to time.
This is common question being asked many times by inventors in hope of judging whether it is really worth to go for filing patent for the invention.
Before answering this question, I would ask what are the advantages of having a real estate property on your name?
You can rent it
You can sell it
You can stop others from using it without your permission
You can use it for your purpose (business or residence)
on similar terms, patent is an intellectual property and has all the advantages stated above, but you need to claim it to be on your name, hence the filing of patent application for your invention. There is a difference though, Unlike real estate the patent has the term of 20 years of ownership. after that they are open to be used by anyone. Hence the Patents system are built to encourage the innovation and growth of the economy be providing patent winner and exclusive right on the invention (intellectual property) for limited time.
Advantages of owning patent would be:
You own the invention for given time (20 years)
You can use it to build a business
Rent it (in this case license it) to existing businesses
Exclude all others for using, selling, offering for sale and importing your invention in your country
You can completely sell the patent to other company
Thus businesses and inventors can have a complete monopoly and competitive advantage.
I am doing a research ; do I need to consider patents in my domain?
As doing research and development you need to be very careful that you are not putting all of your efforts in something which is already invented and patented. If that becomes the case, you would be re inventing wheel and probably all your research efforts are not worth whole a lot. Having said that,
we have also seen many people getting discouraged up on finding hundreds and thousands of patent from their domain and similar to their technology!!!
but what if your invention is better or improved in some aspect... or may be solving some problem in existing known to public technologies. hence, your invention can be patentable !!!
Getting patent is NOT always about inventing something earth breaking solution !!! even small solution solving problems in existing (known) technology can win patent
Many patents are awarded for inventions that are either
technically advance or
economically significant to the existing patents (or prior art)
So, a prior art documents or patents that are already existing can be 99% similar to your invention Yet, if your invention has either technical advance or economic significance or both... and you can prove it that your invention is better than existing ones by means of results comparisons testing and if possible working model, then there is a strong possibility that you may get patent for your invention.