Patent laws in India are governed by the Indian Patent Act, 1970, which deals with the registration, renewal, transfer and protection of patent rights in India. For an invention to be patentable, it must be novel, have an inventive step and display industrial applicability.
Prior to registration of any intellectual property right like trademark registration or design registration or patent registration, it is advisable to conduct a search of the public database. A patent search will help the Inventor or Patent Attorney determine the novelty of the patent and its obviousness. Also, a patent search will help discover inventions that are already registered, helping the Inventor better draft the patent application or extend the scope of innovation to distinguish from existing inventions.
Once a patent search is completed, the patent application must be drafted by the Inventor or a patent attorney. The patent application must specification, a legal document with scientific information constituting patent rights. Specifications play a major role in the patent application process and must be drafted by an experienced patent attorney. The details of the invention must be clearly mentioned along with various features in the invention. Patent specification are of two types, provisional specification and complete specification:
A provisional specification can be filed by an Inventor when the invention has reached a presentable form but not the final share. A provisional specification helps to establish the priority of the Inventor over any other person who is likely to file an application for the same invention. On filing a provisional specification, the patent office provides a patent filing date for the invention. From the date of filing provision specification, the Inventor has 12 months to develop the invention and submit the complete specification. Provisional specifications are first filed for patent applications and mostly contain a brief description of the invention, without any claims.
After filing a provisional specification and obtaining a patent filing date, a complete specification must be filed within 12 months. Any patent application for which complete specification is not filed will be considered abandoned. Compete specification must contain title, preamble of invention, name, address and nationality of the applicant, field of invention, use of invention, prior art, problem to be solved, objectives of invention, general statement of invention, full description of the invention, best method of making the invention work, statement of claims, drawings and abstract. It is important that an experienced patent attorney prepare the complete specification, to avoid any errors.
After the filing of the patent application, if the application is accepted, the patent application is published in the patent journal. Patent applications will not be published for 18 months from the date of filing of the application of from the date of priority of the application, whichever is earlier. However, if the patent applicant wishes to speed up the process, Form-9 can be filed to request for publication at the earliest.
After patent publication, a request for patent examination must be filed within 48 months of the date of filing a patent application or date of priority of the application, whichever is earlier. On request for examination, the patent application will be taken up by an Examiner. The Patent examiner will determine if the patent application satisfies the novelty, inventive step and other criteria established for granting patent registration. In case of objections, the same will be raised by the Patent Examiner in the First Examination Report. Response to the objection raised in the First Examination Report can be filed within 12 months by the patent applicant.
On submission of a response to a First Examination Report, if the Examiner is satisfied that all criteria for grant of patent are satisfied, patent registration is granted. The term of validity of the patent will be 20 years from the date of filing of the patent application.