Request for Examination of a Patent Application – Mandatory Requirement in India

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In the Indian patent system, a request to the patent office has to be made to process the application to the Examination stage. Unlike other countries like the USA, where the examination fee has to be paid at the time of filing itself, Indian Patent Act 1970 provides 4 years time frame to file and pursue the application to the examination stage.

A request for examination has to be filed within 48 months from the date of priority (priority date here is the date of first filing of the invention), Only then the particular application is considered for examination. If it is not filed within the specified time limit the application shall be treated as withdrawn. Hence Indian Patent Act 1970 makes it mandatory to file a request for examination.

It is interesting to note that a request for examination may be filed by the applicant of the application or by any other interested person in such application providing the proper evidence of interest in the particular application to the Patent office.

It is advisable to file a request for examination at the time of filing the application or else it is very necessary to keep a note on the 48th month due date to file a request for examination.

In the case of a national phase application (application in furtherance to PCT international application), an express request for examination can be filed so that the application can be examined any time before 31 months.

A Request for examination for a patent has to be filed on Form-18, specifying the details of the applicant or other interested person, application number, title, date of filing, and publication date. Form-18 should have to be submitted along with a prescribed fee of INR 2500 if an applicant is a natural person and INR 10,000 is the applicant’s legal entity. After submission of such request, a formal examination process shall be initiated as per the Patent Act 1970.

In case it is an express request for examination for a national phase application, the prescribed fee shall be INR 3500 if the applicant is a natural person and INR 14,000 if the applicant is a legal entity.

Form-18- http://ipindia.nic.in/ipr/patent/patent_FormsFees/Form-18.pdf

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Authored by Ms. Adithi Varna

Image from IP India website

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9 Comments

  • February 14, 2012 Posted
    Amit

    Is it mandatory to file a RFE in US. Suppose we have filed National phase application in US, then by when can we file RFE.

    Please reply at amit.agrawal202@gmail.com

  • February 17, 2012 Posted
    Som

    Dear Amit,

    In the US, there is no concept of “filing of a Request for Examination” separately.

    Every non-provisional application/ complete specification filed with the USPTO gets examined automatically if the necessary fee was paid during the filing of the application.

    Again, filing of a national phase application along with appropriate fee indicates the intention of the Applicant to have the application examined. Therefore, the application will be taken up for the examination in due course.

  • February 17, 2012 Posted
    Som

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • February 28, 2012 Posted
    Anonymous

    I want to know that if i want to patent an antenna in India . then I have to submit drawings of antenna.
    I have to submit antenna hardware or drawing are sufficient?

  • March 15, 2012 Posted
    Nitin Nair

    @Anonymous, for filing a patent in India for an antenna, there is no need to show the actual antenna at the point of filing. Drawings of the antenna will suffice. During the examination of the patent application, the examiner may ask for a model/demonstration; but this is a very rare scenario.

  • March 9, 2014 Posted
    Shashi shekhar jha

    If there are more than one inventors in a patent application, can one of then file for the request for examination?

  • March 28, 2014 Posted
    Nitin Nair

    @Shashi, Any person interested in a patent application can file a Request For Examination (RFE). The interested person may be any one of the inventors, any one of the applicants, any person who is linked to the area of technology to which the patent belongs (the link may be from using the technology commercially, performing research in that area and so on).

  • February 8, 2020 Posted
    Rajeev Ranjan Patel

    sir during examination may any person make objection on claims ?

  • November 25, 2020 Posted
    Pavan Kumar

    Nitin sir,
    This query may be an extended question to what you have already answered regarding “It is interesting to note that a request for examination may be filed by the applicant of the application or by any other interested person in such application providing proper evidence of interest in the particular application to the Patent office.”

    Can the any interested person be one of the employees of another entity of the same organization. If yes, what documents would suffice the need of ‘providing proper evidence of interest in the particular application’? Does submitting an ID proof that the parent entity of the Applicant’s entity and the employee entity, sufficient?

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