A “patent application” can be filed by the true and first inventor and  the assignee or the legal representative of the inventor is also entitled to file it. It can be filed either individually or jointly. However if in case the  patent application is filed by the assignee, it is necessary that a proof of assignment is required to be submitted along with the application. The applicant can however be national of any country. There is however a requirement that the patent should be filed .

A “patent filing can be made either  directly at the Indian Patent Office  or it can either be made by national phase PCT application  or it can either be filed  in the form of a conventional application. The steps that are to be followed for patent filing in India are :

Step 1:   The invention (idea or concept) must be written down with as much details as possible

The businessman is required to collect all the information about his  invention such as the :

  • The area of invention
  • The description of the invention as to what it does
  • How does the invention works
  • The advantages of the invention

Ideally, if the businessman has worked on the invention during his  research and development phase then he should have some call lab record which is duly signed with date by the businessman  and the respective authority.

Step 2: The businessman must include drawings, diagrams or sketches explaining working of invention

The drawings and the diagrams should be designed in such a way that It helps  to explain the working of the invention in better way with visual illustrations. These play an important role in the  patent application.

Step 3: The businessman is required to check whether the invention is a patentable subject matter or not

This is because all the inventions may not be patentable, as per the Indian Patent Act, 1970, there are certain inventions that are not patentable.

Step 4a: Patentability search

The next step that the businessman needs to follow is that he needs to find out whether his  invention meets all the  patentability criteria as per Indian patent act or not . The needs that are required to be checked are :

  • Novelty
  • Non-obviousness
  • Industrial application
  • Enabling

The patentability opinion is provided by the patent professionals by conducting an extensive search and forming the  patentability report.

Step 4b: The businessman should then  Decide if he has to go ahead with patent

The patentability report and the opinion helps the businessman to decide as to whether he should go ahead with the patent or not. Hence this reports saves lots of time, efforts and cost of the inventor as it helps him decide whether to go ahead with the patent filing process or not.

Step 5: The inventor is then required to Draft (write) a  patent application

In case if the inventor is at a very early stage in the research and development for his invention, then he can go  a for provisional application .  It gives him the  following benefits:

  • It helps to Secure the filing date
  • There is 12 months of time to file complete specification
  • The cost is very low .

After filing the provisional patent application, The inventor secures  the filing date which is very crucial in patent world.  The inventor gets 12 months of time to come up with the complete specification and  up on expiry of 12 months the patent application will be abandoned.

When the inventor completes  the required documents and his  research work is at level where he  can have prototype and experimental results to prove his  inventive step then he  can file complete specification with the patent application.

There is an optional step that is filing the provisional specification , if the inventor is  at the stage where he can have complete information about his  invention,  then he / she  can directly go for complete specification.

Step 6: The investor then has to do Publication of the application

Up on the filing of the complete specification along with the application for the patent, the application is published only after 18 months of the first filing.

An early publication request can although be made along with the prescribed fees if the inventor  does not wish to wait till the expiry of the 18 months period  from the date of filing for publishing his  patent application.

Step 7: Request for examination

The patent application is examined only after when a request for the  examination that is RFE is received .   When the controller receives this request,  the  patent application which is given by the inventor to the controller , gives this to a patent examiner who examinees the patent application with different patentability criteria like:

  • Patentable subject matter
  • Novelty
  • Non-obviousness
  • Inventive step
  • Industrial application
  • Enabling

The examiner will  firstly create  a first examination report of the patent application after it  reviews  it based on above terms. This process  is called as patent prosecution. The first examination report is submitted to the  the controller by the  examiner which  generally contains the  prior arts (existing documents before the date of filing) which are similar to that of  the claimed invention, and it is same like that which is reported to the patent applicant.

Step 8: The inventor is then required to respond to the objections

Based on examination report the majority of patent applicants receive some type of objections .  The best thing which the patent applicant has to do is that he must analyse the examination report with the  patent professional (patent agent) and then  create  a response to the objections which are  raised in the examination report.

This gives a chance to the inventor to communicate his novelty over the prior arts that are found in the examination report. The inventor and the patent agent create and send a response to the examination who then proves it to the controller that his invention is indeed patentable and that it satisfies all the patentability criteria’s.

Step 9: Clearing all the objections

The communication that is  between the controller and the patent applicant is to ensure that all the objections that are raised in the patent application are resolved and if  the objections in the patent application are not cleared then it  will not be granted .  The inventor has a fair chance to prove his point and to establish a novelty and take an  inventive step over the existing prior arts.

Step 10: The grant of patent

The application would then be placed in order to give the grant once it is found that the patent application meets all the patentability requirements. The grant of a patent is then notified in the patent journal which is published time to time.

Thus after following the above-mentioned steps,  patent filing in India.