A patent is a right granted to an individual or enterprise by the government that excludes others from making, using, selling or importing the patented product or process without prior approval. In exchange for this right, the applicant must fully disclose the minutae of the invention. A patent for a product or process that proves successful can give its owner a serious competitive advantage over rivals. It is valid for 20 years, after which it falls into the public domain. A patentable invention can be any art, process, method or manner of manufacture; machine, apparatus or other articles; substances produced by manufacturing; computer software with technical application to industry or used with hardware; and product patent for food, chemicals, medicines and drugs.
Advantages of Permanent Patent
Test of Inventiveness
With exclusive rights, the owner of the patent controls the use of the invention for a full 20 years. Patents can make businesses and slow down rivals for years to come.
Ability to Sell
You can transfer or sell your patent to another person at your discretion. Some businesses exist solely to collect the royalties from a patent they have licensed.
A patented product is likely to improve brand perception and potentially enable your business to charge a premium. Owning the patent for a successful product or service would significantly increase the valuation of your business.
6 Essential Facts on Patent Search
A patent is a legal document that gives the right or authority of a particular field of research, an invention or any other processes to a person applying for it. Hence, the patent is the right granted to the ‘owner’ of the invention, and it can be anything ranging from product to services. A patent gives its owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without approval.
A patent search is a preliminary process for filing/applying for a patent. Before such a right is granted, there obviously is a rigorous check on whether the process or product is inventive, novel (has not been a part of any published document) and industrially applicable (possesses utility). It involves a search of the database of the intellectual property regulator of India to check whether there exists an object or invention that is the same as or similar to applicant’s invention.
Every year, the authorities get thousands of applications for filing patents. Not all the applications filed for a patent get approved by the authorities. The reason usually is that there are other similar inventions/applications or the steps involved in the invention is not innovative. For example, pharmaceutical companies in India file for patents every year when their research and development teams invent a product or mostly, the ‘steps’ to formulate or derive a particular active ingredient (drug). Often, these drugs are not innovative and the innovation is not registered. Thus, instead of wasting time on the patent process, it is best to find out through patent search if there are any similar inventions/applications already patented.
In India, a patent is provided by the Indian patent advanced search system or inPASS. This was introduced in 2015. InPass allows a full text search of all patents and applications that have been registered so far in the country. Every year, several companies and individuals file for patents for their inventions. Hence, an official register or database is maintained to ensure no duplication of patents on similar or same products/applications are awarded. The patent search is thus an attempt to search the complete database to find if any company or individual has filed for a patent for an application similar to the one for which patent is being sought.
InPass, the database where all patents and patent applications are stored, give a detailed insight into all the patents in the area of research, and thus, help in analysing, scrutinising and also deciding if it is worthwhile to file for a patent registration. A patent search is a mandatory step before filing for patent registration.
There are two major advantages of a patent search, even if it can be time-consuming or you need to hire an expert in the field to do it. The first is the chance of getting an approval on your patent application increases manifold..The second is that it saves money. It is better to take precautions before filing for a patent which may or may not gets approved. A patent research will give a detailed account of applications filed on similar products and help you decide what or how to frame your application, since patents for inventions are filed with steps involved and all other essential information.
Although the database is simple and easy to operate, the process of patent search itself requires an expert in the field. The patent agents or an attorney with expertise in patent filing and law can increase accuracy and help speed up your search. Such a thorough search can help you decide whether to go ahead with the patent application or not and also to identify the areas in which your investors and competitors are interested in.
Patent Grant Process
You would need to send in all the details regarding the patent search, including uses of the invention, benefits over existing products or processes and information regarding its publication in a recognised journal, if any. Try to make these details specific, as this would ease the search process. A patent attorney, our affiliate, will take up your request and conduct a thorough search of the database.
Within a week of receiving confirmation that the product or process is patentable, the application will be skillfully drafted by the attorney, ensuring that the patent provides the widest protection to your invention. Once this is done, the application is filed with the Registrar. The time it takes to file this application would depend on the scope of the invention, the industries it is applicable to and the number of similar existing products/processes.
After 12 to 15 months of filing the initial application, the patent is published in recognised patent journals (this can be reduced to just 10 to 15 days on payment of fast-track fees of Rs. 2600). If all is in order, the examination process will commence. Examination is conducted by a government-appointed patent officer. If everything is found in order, the patent is granted and later issued. We shall assist you throughout the process, should you have any queries.