Conceiving the Invention
The inventor should collect as much information as possible about his invention. The inventor should think about the field of his invention, the advantages of such an invention and if that invention can improve already existing solutions. However, not all inventions are patentable subject matter. Section 3 of the Patents Act, 1970 give those subject matter which are not patentable. Thus, the inventor must be aware of these subject matters that are not patentable while conceiving the invention. Hence, patent registration is important.
Patent Search & Drafting
The inventor conducts a patent search. He does so to understand whether the invention is novel or not. Under the Patents Act, all inventions must meet the novelty criteria. The patent search identifies the closest prior development known to the public in relation to the invention. The search results give an opinion about the patentability of the invention. It can be negative, positive or neutral. The inventor can choose to directly file an application; they are, however, highly recommended to conduct a search beforehand.
Following the patent search, one should draft the patent application effectively. The application should include various parts such as claims, background, description, drawing, abstract and summary. These parts must be drafted carefully to provide an effective disclosure of the invention.
Filing the patent application
After one drafts the patent application, they may file the same in the patent office through application Form 1. Then, they receive a receipt generated with the patent application number. If the invention is at an early stage, one can file a provisional patent application. Filing a provisional patent application can help secure a prior date of filing which is important as it secures your invention from the very beginning. Moreover, one has 12 months to file the complete specification. You may file for patents through Form 28 if you have a start-up or a small business.
Publication of the application
After the applicant files the complete specification, the application is published after 18 months. If the applicant does not want to wait till 18 months to get publication, an early publication request can be made through Form 9 with the prescribed fees. In such a case, the patent application generally gets published within 1 month from the request of early publication.
Rule 24 and 24A of the Patent Rules, 2003
Rule 24 states that the application for patent will not be ordinarily open to the public within 18 months from the date of filing of such application or the date of priority. Given that the period within which the controller will publish the application will be ordinarily 1 month from the date of expiry of such period, or from the date of request for publication under rule 24A within 1 month. As per rule 24A, the applicant may request for publication on Form 9 under section 11A (2).
Request for Examination
The applicant should request the patent office to examine the patent application as it is not an automatic process. The applicant must file a request for examination within 48 hours from the date of filing the application through Form 18. . The Controller, on such request, gives the examiner for examination on factors like novelty, non-obviousness, inventive step and industrial applicability of the patent. The applicant is then provided with the First Examination Report. Rule 24C of the Patents Rule, 2003 states that an applicant may also apply for an expedited examination through Form 18 with the prescribed fee.
Respond to the Objection
The Patent Office may raise objections in the First Examination Report. The applicant has to file a written response t the objections raised. The applicant can negate the entire objection and prove the patentability of the invention through a written response. If they require it, they may request a physical hearing.
Grant of patent
One places the application for a grant when the Office addresses all the objections. They must ensure that their patent meets all the requirements. The patent journal publishes the grant of a patent and any interested person may file a post-grant opposition within 12 months of such publication.