If you are an inventor and willing to protect your invention then the next right step towards protecting your inventions is to file for a patent, that way you restrict others from making, selling or using your invention. Before you file or submit a patent application in a particular country, it is better to perform patent search to get clarity about the patentability of the invention. Once the search is done, the next step is to draft the application according to respective country’s patent standards of the patent office of that country. Once you are ready with your draft, then you can go ahead and file the patent application.
In brief, patent filing is a process of submitting application to patent office of a country in order to get the grant for the invention in that particular country. If a person wishes to protect his invention in multiple countries, then he will have to file patent application in each of those countries separately.
There are multiple filings under which one may protect his/her invention. In order to identify the type of filing that suits your requirements, it is important to know all types of patent filings. Each type of filing serves a different purpose.
The types of Patent filing can be classified into:
1. Provisional Filing:
The provisional application filing is more suitable when the invention is not finalized and still under development process. The provisional application can be filed with the broadest scope of the invention that may be summary of idea behind the invention. The filing also helps in securing the rights of the inventory at the early stage of the invention. Once the provisional application is filed it cannot be amended with new content.
The major advantage of filing the provisional application is to get more time to work on enabling the invention and to secure a priority date for invention.
The priority date is the date of first filing, it can be provisional or complete and it is important because the information available in public domain before the priority date of the patent application is considered as the prior art.
The patent is never granted on basis of provisional application. It is necessary that provisional application is followed by complete patent application within prescribed time window, the complete patent application needs to be filed within 12 months from the priority date. In case if the complete application is not filed within prescribed time then the provisional application lapses. There are other advantages of filing a provisional application as well.
2.Complete Filing :
It is mandatory to file complete application as the grant of patent is based on examination of the complete patent application. The complete application filing should be done within 12 months of filing corresponding provisional application.
The inventor also has an option of directly filing the complete application without filing provisional application. This type of filing is advisable when the prototype of the invention is completely ready.
The inventor can request to Indian Patent office for examining the patent application only after filing the complete application, so if you want to speed up the process of examination and eventually grant then filing complete application directly is a better option.
The PCT filing is a good option if the inventor/applicant is planning to file in multiple countries. The PCT filing gives you right to enter 152 countries, including Jordan which is recently added. The PCT application does not guarantee you grant in any foreign countries.
The PCT filing gives inventor enough time to perform market evaluation to check the potential of his/her invention in different countries before filing. An inventor can be benefited by the search report and preliminary examination report provided under the PCT system to get sure about the patentability of the invention.
4.Convention Filing :
The Paris convention is an international treaty signed by group of countries protects the rights of the inventor/ applicants with similar privileges provided to their own citizens.
The convention application has to be filed within 12 months from the priority date of the application. There are totally 177 countries included in the convention countries India being one among them.
The convention filing helps in quick prosecution of the patent application and also fastens the process of patent grant in convention countries. It provides addition of 25 countries for filing the application compared to PCT filing.
5.National Phase Filing :
Once you file a PCT application the inventor/applicant gets 30/31 months time from priority date to enter multiple countries (specifically 152 PCT countries) and file patent application for getting protection on his/her invention. The prosecution of the patent application in each country depends on judiciary of that particular country.
The applicant may pick and choose the number of countries he/she wants to enter and if in case the applicant fails to files the national phase application within time limit, then he/she loses right to enter that country.
6.Patent of Addition Filing:
If the inventor/applicant comes up with any modifications or changes to the earlier filed invention, then inventor/applicant can file patent of addition then filing new application.
Application for patent of addition can be filed by applicant in relation to the application filed earlier during its term. The patent of addition will be granted after the grant of original application. The applicant need not pay any additional fees or renewal fees, and it expires along with the original application unless it is made independent. The term of patent of addition is same as the original application. The patent of addition application can be filed even after grant of the main/parent application.
7.Divisional Application Filing:
If the inventor/applicant wants to claim different invention than that claimed in the parent/main application, then inventor can file divisional application. It can also be filed when the objection regarding unity of invention is raised, to protect the second invention.
The divisional application can be divided from the existing applications based on the number of inventions the application contains. The divisional application can be filed at any instance before the grant of a patent. The priority date of the divisional application is same as the main/parent patent application.
Who can file patent application?
The person willing to file patent application can be first and true inventor of the invention or the applicant of the invention or the patent agent assigned by the inventor , either alone or jointly with another person.
When filing patent application it is important to select appropriate type of filing that suits the requirement of the inventor/applicant. It is hassle to keep track of the deadlines and perform the appropriate filings, missing any of the deadlines may cause abandon/lapse of the application. So, it is advisable to take professional assistance to ensure appropriate approach is made to protect the invention. We at Ediplis Counsels provide comprehensive patent filing and other related services.