What is the process of acquiring a patent in India?
Patent FilingnnThe process of acquiring a patent in India starts with the filing of the patent application. An application for a patent can be filed by any person who is either the:nn• True and first inventor of the invention;n• Assignee; orn• Legal representative of the inventor or assignee.nnAn application for a patent has to be filed at one of the four patent offices according to the jurisdiction of the applicant. The four patent offices are Kolkata Patent Office, Delhi Patent Office, Mumbai Patent Office and Chennai Patent Office.nPublication of a patent application in IndianOnce all the aforementioned details have been provided, the application will ordinarily be published within18 months in the official gazette. However, the same may be expedited if a request for early publication is requested by the patent applicant. The advantage of publication to the applicant is that the rights of the patent applicant start from publication, however, they are not enforceable till the patent receives grant. nnIt should also be noted that there are certain situations under which a patent may be prevented from being published in the gazette. These include situations such as:nn• Non filing of the complete specification within 12 months from the date of filing the provisional specification. n• Issuance of secrecy direction, orn• Withdrawal of application by the applicant.nnExamination of a patent applicationnAn application for patent is examined only after a request for examination has been made by the applicant. Such request should be made within 48 months from the date of filing of the application or priority. Once the request for examination has been made, the application will be examined by the patent office to verify the correctness of all documents and also to verify the patentability of the invention. After performing the examination, the patent office generally issues an examination report which is known as the First Examination Report (FER). The patent act also mandates a time period of 6 (six) months from the date of issuance of the FER to put the application in order for grant by complying with the objections raised by the patent office. nnGrant of a patent in IndiannOnce all the objections have been satisfied and the requisite fee has been paid, the application is granted. Once the patent is granted, it is again published in the official gazette. Any person interested in filing for opposition to the grant of patent can do so within one year period from the grant of the patent by way of a post grant opposition. nAnother point to note is that the patent rights which start from the date of publication are now enforceable.nnPatent TermnnAny patent which is granted will be valid for a maximum term of 20 years from the date of filing or priority, whichever is earlier. However, to keep the patent active for the said 20 years, the patent should be renewed every year. n