Patent applications are published automatically 18 months from the filing date or the priority date, whichever is earlier. In India, you can also request early publication.
Third parties can request that a patent application be refused between publication and grant. Opposition must be substantiated with appropriate grounds for opposing a patent.
Request for examination
You must submit a request for examination of your invention within prescribed time limits. In India, this must be done within 48 months of the date of priority or filing, whichever is earlier.
Examiners check that your invention:
● is new, and has never previously been made public;● involves an inventive step, and would not appear obvious to someone with substantial knowledge and experience of the field;● is capable of industrial application.
If your invention does not pass the first examination, you will have the opportunity to amend it.
Once your invention has passed examination, your application will be granted. Your patent will receive a grant number and a ‘Letters Patent Document’, and be entered on the e-register.
Terms of patent
The patent will last for 20 years, provided you pay the renewal fee.
The grant of your patent will be published. Any interested party can file post-grant opposition up to 12 months following the date of publication of the grant.
You must pay a yearly renewal fee to maintain your patent beyond the first two years. If the fee is not paid, your patent will lapse.
Statement of working
Filing a statement of commercial working is part of the maintenance of your patent. It is a compulsory activity not only for the patentee but also for a licensee (if the patent is licensed) and regardless of whether the patented invention is commercialised in India or not.
The statement must be filed for a financial year exempting the year within which the patent has been granted by the anniversary of 30 September (e.g. a patent granted between 01 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 is due to be filed by 30 September 2022). Non-filing of a statement may attract the penal provision of the Patents Act.