Patent FAQ's ?

“The protection of Intellectual Property is vital to economic growth and global competitiveness. And it has major consequences for country’s ability to promote security and stability.

- Carlos Gutierrez

Patent FAQ’s:

1. Who can apply for a Patent?

An inventor alone or jointly, with their legal representative and/or assignee can file an application. Applicationscan be made, regardless of age, nationality, mentalcompetency, incarceration, or any other characteristic, so long as theyare true inventor of the invention.

2. What is Patentable invention?

An invention which qualifies Novelty(New and original and has not been disclosed or used anywhere), Inventive step(Employs a step, which makes it unobvious in view of nearest related prior art that exists in similar filed of technology as the invention) and Industrial applicability(It should give same result when replicated by an industrial process).

3. What are non-patentable inventions under the Indian Patent Law?
  • An invention which claims anything obviously contrary to well established natural laws
  • An invention which causes serious prejudice to human, animal or plant life or health or to the environment
  • The mere discovery of a scientific principle or the formulation of an abstract theory
  • The mere arrangement or duplication of known devices each functioning independently of one another in a known way
  • A method of agriculture or horticulture
  • Any process for the medicinal, surgical and pharmaceutical
  • Plants and animals in whole or any part thereof
  • A computer program per set of algorithms
  • A literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation
  • A mere scheme or rule or method of performing mental act or method of playing game
  • A presentation of information
  • Topography of integrated circuits
Section 4:

No patent shall be granted in respect of an invention relating to atomic energy falling within sub-section (1) of section 20 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962)

4. Can an applicant file an application in a foreign language in India?

An application can be filed in India either in English or Hindi.

5. What is Provisional Patent Application?

A Provisional Patent Application is a short version of a regular patent application. It is used to establish an early filing date for a later-filed regular Patent application. A Provisional patent application must contain:

  • A detailed description of the invention telling how to make and use it
  • Drawing, if necessary to understand how to make and use the invention
  • A fee (Individual, small entity or large entity)

6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Provisional Patent Application?
Advantages of Provisional Patent Application:
  • The Provisional patent application gives the right to claim that once invention has “Patent Pending” status
  • One can publish, sell, or show their invention to others without fear of theft or loss of any domestic rights
  • One can be certain that their Provisional patent application will provide excellent proof of inventor ship
Disadvantages of Provisional Patent Application:
  • Provisional patent application may fail to contain a full description of how to make and use the invention. In this case, onecan't rely on the Provisional patent application's filing date for the invention.
  • One may try to license or interest a manufacture in his invention in the twelve-month time period before they file complete patent application. Since, 12 months is usually too short a period to license an invention, one may get discouraged and fail to file completespecification and thus give up a potentially valuable invention.
7. What is the difference between Trademark and Patent?

Trademarks are very useful in combination with inventions, whether invention is patentable or not. A trademark can be used with an invention to provide it with a unique view.Trademark provides brand-name recognition to the product and a patent provides a tool to practical function.

8.What factors affectthe marketability of an invention?

There are several facts which are affecting an invention in market mode. Cost, weight, speed, reparability, size, safety factors, comfort of use, convenience of production, durability, novelty, reliability, saleability, view ability, social benefit, ecology, long life cycle, after sale service, profitability, development, quality, excitement, taste, market size and legality are the key factors affecting an invention in market.

9. What is the term of Patent?

The term of patent is 20 years from the date of application.

10. What is prior art?

Prior art is having knowledge that was made publicly available prior to the filling date of an earliest patent application.

11. Why should you make Patentability search?
  • To determine whether you can get a patent or not
  • To avoid needless expenditures and work
  • To provide background to facilitate preparation of your patent application
  • To provide more information about operability and design
  • To obtain commercial information
  • To define around the prior art to facilitate prosecution
  • 7. To facilitate licensing or sale of your invention
    8. To get a stronger point
12. What are all the ways to make a patentability search?

There are only two ways to get your search. First, do it yourself if you have access to search facility and you have computer search capability. Second, search can be done by two types which are

  • by classification: You may search of all patents in a particular class and sub-class which is called classification search.
  • by keyword: You can also search for keyword combinations in all patents which is called keyword search.

13. What does a search report consists?

The searcher will take time to conduct a patentability search andobtains references which are relevant to the given invention. Search report typically consists of:

  • Description of the given invention provided by searcher. It indicates how searcher understoodyour invention and what exactly searcher has been searched.
  • A list of patents and other references which are collected by searcher
  • A brief discussion of cited patents and other references, pointing out relevant part of each cited patent.
  • A list of classes, subclasses and keywords

14. What all an inventor need to provide to a searcher?

If you wantto use your patent searcher effectively, as an inventor you should share the complete invention. If you fail to give total details about the invention then patent searcher can't give most cited patents.

  • Explain total aim of the invention with novelty and utility of the invention
  • Share your all the prior art documents which you can find
  • If you are developed an improved version of your competitor's product/process, admit it to patent agent.

15. What does a Patent application contains?

A patent application contains following parts which are sent together to the Patent office by following order:

  • A completed form along with the filling fee
  • Drawings of the invention
  • A specification, which contains

Title of the invention, Field of the Invention, Background, Advantages, Summary, Drawings, Detailed description, Claims, Sequence listing, Abstract

  • Completed patent application declaration
  • Inventor’s declaration
  • A publication request along with fee, this is for if you want the application to be published early
  • An examination request along with fee, in case of early examination
16. What are Claims?

Claims define the structure or act of an invention in legal and exact terms. Claims will determine whether invention is patentable over the prior art and claims define the scope of an invention. Claimsare classified into:

  • Process or method claims
  • Machine claims
  • Article of manufacture claims
  • Composition of matter claims
  • Claims reciting a new use of any of the previous four statutory classes
17. What are technical requirements of claims?

Claims are main part while drafting a patent. Each claim must be worded in clear and with exact terms. If wording of claims is poor then examiner will make a technical rejection to patent application. So while writing claims you have to maintain some basic rules which are:

  • Use proper legal and exact terms
  • Use only one capital, one period and no dashes, quotes, trademark or abbreviations
  • Be complete
  • Keep language straight word and simple
  • Avoid too many claims
  • Make sure claims are supported in drawings
18. Is there any rule for drawings in patent application to follow?

Yes, Patent office has many numbers of rules for preparing drawings. The patent examiner will inspect your drawings and if he finds any error in yourdrawings he raises an objection. Below shown are some defects find frequently in drawings:

Lines are pale, numerals are poor, lines are rough and blurred, copier marks are on the drawing, shade lines are required, figures must be numbered, heading space is required, figures must not be connected, double-line hatching and crisscross are objectionable, etc.

19. Is India a signatory to the Paris convention and the patent corporation treaty?

Yes, India is a signatory to the Paris convention and the Patent Corporation Treaty.

20. Who will read my patent specification?

Patent should be read by “Examiner” who is skilled in the art, later patent specification is read by

  • The controller of patents
  • Investment banker
  • Lending banker
  • A judge
21. Are there any rights for patentee after expiry of patent?

No, Patentees do not have any rights after expiry of patent. The invention comes out to public domain and patent can use by anybody freely.

22. What is Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)?

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is one of the most important treaties where all industrial countries are part in it. An inventor of member in country can file a Patent Cooperation Treaty application and then no need to file an application in another country which is member in Patent Cooperation Treaty.

23. If two or more persons work together to make an invention, to whom will the patent be granted?

If one or more persons work together for an invention and for defined in the claims then patent should be granted jointly as joint inventors on the basis of proper patent application.

24. Is it possible to amend the specification filed?

Yes, a patent specification is amended. The amendments should not go beyond the scope of invention disclosed in the specification.

25. Is there a single patent, enforceable in all the countries?

No, there is nothing is called global patent. The application has to approach the respective patent office to grant a patent for their invention.

26. When should an application for a patent be filed?

The patent application should be completed at the earliest possible date and should not be delayed until the invention is completed. A provisional patent application is filed with brief description about the invention.

27. Can a published or disclosed invention be patented?

No,Publication or disclosure of the invention anywhere by the inventor before filing of a patent application can't be patentable. Hence inventors should not disclose their inventions before filing of a patent application. When disclosing, the number and the date of the patent application should be given information to the public.

28. How does patent expire?

A patent can expire by following ways:

  • A patent can live full term
  • If the patent fails to pay renewal fee
  • The validity of the patent has been successfully challenged by an opponent by filing an opposition
  • The patent is revoked
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