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Patent Filing Procedure: 6 Steps from Filing to Grant of a Patent in India

August 22, 2023
Have you been thinking about filing a patent for your invention? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the patent filing process in India. From deciding if your invention is patentable to drafting the patent specification, this guide has it all.
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What to know how to file a patent in India? This detailed guide will quickly walk you through the entire patent procedure in India, from start to finish. By the end of this guide, you will know exactly what patent steps need to be taken in order to file a successful patent application along with costs involved and details and documents to be provided to the patent experts.

So, if you’re ready to learn everything you need to know about the patent process in India, read on!

What are the steps, timelines and costs in the patent procedure in India?

Step 1 – Check if your invention is patentable (Patentability search)

Before filing a patent application, it is important to conduct a thorough patentability search to determine if the invention is patentable. This search involves checking if the subject matter is patentable and conducting a detailed search for similar inventions. This step is optional but it can help you understand whether or not you should even file for a patent in the first place and save you time and money.

The patentability search will help understand the novelty and non-obviousness of the invention and identify any prior art related to the invention. After the search, you have the option to fine-tune the patent application to ensure that you don’t end up filing a patent for something that already exists.

If the patentability search provides a positive opinion, then you have a good chance of getting the patent granted.

Timeline1 to 7 days
Cost5,000 to 30,000
Details / Documents requiredInventor has to fill an Invention disclosure form with the details of the invention and share the same with the patent expert(s). Based on the the technology details, a patentability search is generally performed. A call with the inventor may also be arranged by the expert to understand the invention or for further clarifications.

Step 2 – Write the patent specification (Provisional / Complete)

Every patent application which is filed with the Indian patent office has to be accompanied with a patent specification. The patent specification is a legal document that outlines the scientific information of an invention that constitutes the patent rights. The patent specification contains details of the invention, including various features, and can be divided into two types: provisional specification and complete specification.

A provisional specification is typically filed when the invention is in a presentable form but not yet in its final state. This type of specification helps to establish the priority of the inventor over any other person who may be attempting to file a patent application for the same or similar invention.

Upon filing a provisional specification, the patent office grants the inventor a patent filing date, giving them 12 months to develop the invention and file a complete specification. A provisional specification typically contains a brief description of the invention without any patent claims.

Whereas a complete specification should include a title, preamble of invention, name and address of the applicant, field of invention, use of invention, prior art, problem to be solved, objectives of invention, general statement of invention, full description of the invention, best method of making the invention work, patent claims, drawings and abstract.

In order to write a successful patent specification, it is essential to have an understanding of legal drafting techniques and the details of the technical aspects of the invention. Care must be taken to ensure that all of the important sections, detailed descriptions, inventive steps, patent specifications and more are included in the patent draft to ensure that it is thorough and legally sound.

Such tasks should ideally be undertaken by a patent attorney or agent with experience to avoid any errors. However, it is not mandatory and the inventor is also allowed to draft and file the specification themselves.

Timeline2 to 7 days for provisional and complete patent drafting and filing
CostProfessional fee of 6,000 to 25,000 for provisional patent drafting & filing, and 10,000 to 40,000 for complete patent drafting and filing.Government fee for filing the patent application varies from 1,600 to 8,000 depending on the type of patent applicant.
Details / Documents requiredInventor has to fill an Invention disclosure form with the details of the invention and share the same with the patent expert(s). Based on the the technology details, the patent specification will be drafted. A call with the inventor may also be arranged for understanding and / or for clarifications. Once drafted, it may be sent for approval from inventors.For claiming startup, MSME, educational institute or female applicant filing status, relevant proof document like DIPP certificate, MSME certificate, educational institute certificate, identity proof for female applicant will be required.

Step 3 – File the patent application (Patent filing)

Filing a patent application in India requires submitting the relevant application forms and documents with applicable fees in the relevant patent office.

In India, a patent application must be submitted to one of the four patent offices located in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. The selection of the relevant patent office depends on the applicant’s address. The table below provides the addresses of the patent offices in India and their respective territorial jurisdiction.

OfficeTerritorial Jurisdiction
Indian Patent Office, MumbaiThe States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa and Chhattisgarh and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu & Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Indian Patent Office, ChennaiThe States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territories of Pondicherry and Lakshadweep, Telangana.
Indian Patent Office, DelhiThe States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Delhi and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
Indian Patent Office, KolkataThe rest of India.

An patent application can also be filed with the Indian Patent Office either in offline or online mode. In the online mode, the patent filing software used by the Indian patent office will automatically choose the relevant jurisdiction based on the address of the applicant filed by the user.

For filing the patent application, the following forms are applicable:

  • Form 1 (Application for Grant of a Patent),
  • Form 2 (Provisional/Complete Specification),
  • Form 3 (Statement and Undertaking),
  • Form 5 (Declaration as to Inventorship), and
  • Form 26 (form for authorization of a Patent Agent/Patent Attorney or any person in a matter or proceeding under the Act).
  • Form 28 (form for claiming startup / small entity status)

Additionally, priority documents must be filed if the application is based on a previous patent application filed abroad.

Once the forms are submitted, the applicant will receive a patent application number from the patent office. The patent application number will serve as a unique identification of the patent application in India and will be useful to check patent status updates regarding the patent application, once the patent application is published.

The cost of filing the patent application in India is calculated according to the type of patent applicant, and if there are additional pages of the patent specification (beyond 30) or additional claims (beyond 10), additional government fee is applicable.

Regular applicantIndividuals, Startups, SME & Educational institutes
Standard government fees8,0001,600
Extra pages (only if pages exceed 30)800160
Extra claims (only if claims exceed 10)1,600320

Step 4 – Publication of the patent application

The process of publication of a patent application in India is quite straightforward. Once a patent application has been filed with the Indian Patent Office, it is kept confidential until the publication date in the official patent journal.

The application is normally published 18 months after the filing of the patent application. However, if one wishes to get the patent application published earlier, they can file Form 9 (early publication request) with the Indian Patent Office. Upon receipt of the request, the patent application is usually published within one month.

The publication of the patent application includes the date of the application, the application number, the name and address of the applicant and an abstract.

The publication of the patent application marks the starting of the rights of the patent applicant, although they cannot enforce these rights through any infringement proceedings until the patent is granted.

There are certain scenarios in which the patent application may not be published, such as if the application is incomplete; if a complete patent application wasn’t filed within 12 months from the provisional filing date; if the individual filing the patent requests for its withdrawal or if the invention is against the nation’s interests and is thus imposed with a secrecy direction under the Patent Act.

TimelinePublished automatically around 18 months from the patent filing date. For early publication requests, publication happens in around 1 month from the early publication request, normally within a few days / weeks.
CostNo cost for default publication.For early publication, government fee of 2,500 / 8,000 will be applicable. Professional fee may generally vary from 1,000 to 5,000.
Details / Documents requiredNo additional documents are required for publication.

Step 5 – Examination of patent application

The patent examination process is the process by which an inventor’s patent application is reviewed and examined by the patent office. This review ensures that the invention meets all of the criteria for patentability and is eligible for patent protection.

Request for Examination (RFE)

The first step in the examination process is to make a formal request for examination in Form 18 (Form 18 (A) for expedited or faster review). This must be completed and submitted to the Indian patent office along with the necessary examination fee.

TimelineA request for examination has to be filed within 48 months from the first filing date or priority date, whichever is earlier.
CostThe government fee to request for examination is 4,000 / 20,000. The government fees for expedited examination is 8,000 / 60,000.Professional fees may typically vary from 1,000 to 5,000.
Details / Documents requiredNo additional details are required except for what was provided during filing to claim government fee reductions.

Patent Examination & issuance of Examination Report

After the patent examination request is made, the patent application is transferred to a patent examiner who examines the patent application to ensure it is in compliance with the Patent Act and relevant rules.

The patent examiner will specifically review the patent application in detail to ensure it meets the patentability criteria. This involves conducting a search of similar technologies to ensure the invention is novel and inventive. The examiner may also make objection(s) if they believe the invention does not meet the patentability criteria’s.

The examiner then issues the first examination report (FER), which outlines all the objections raised.

Responding to objections in the examination report

The applicant receives a period of 6 months from the date of objection to respond to the examination report. This period may further be extended for up to a period of 3 months by filing a request for extension of time and paying the government fees.

Responding to the examination report involves either accepting or countering the objections raised. Once the response is filed, the examiner will review the response and may issue a second examination report, if required. Alternatively, the examiner may issue a patent hearing.

TimelineThe timeline to respond to first examination report is 6 months. Extension of time may be taken for up to 3 months. Extension involves additional costs.
CostProfessional fee to respond to examination report generally ranges from 10,000 to 30,000. Extension of time involves additional costs. Furthermore, attending patent hearing and submitting post hearing submissions may also involve additional costs.
Details / Documents requiredYou don’t have to prepare the response to the examination report but you may help the patent experts by providing differences between your invention and the cited prior arts. The patent expert might use these technical differences amongst other things to prepare a response to the examination report. The examination report response may be shared with you for your feedback and review.

Patent hearing

If the examiner still has doubts about the patentability of the invention, then a patent hearing may be scheduled. The patent hearing may either be in person or virtual.

Patent hearing provides an opportunity to the applicant or their patent agent to explain their invention in detail and to address the examiner’s objections. Once the patent hearing is attended, the applicant will get an opportunity to make a post hearing submission within 15 days.

Post the examination stage, the examiner will make a final decision regarding allowing or refusing the patent application.

Step 6- Decision of patent registration

The decision of patent registration is based on the satisfaction of the patent examiner that all criteria for patent registration are met. This includes that the invention is novel, non-obvious, and useful.

Once the patent is granted, it needs to be renewed on a yearly basis. The renewal is possible till a maximum tenure of 20 years in India.

To conclude, timelines for the patent process varies but it typically takes around 2-4 years for the patent to be granted / refused. In case of choosing for fast track examination process, the patent application process may be reduced to around 12 months.

To conclude, filing a patent in India can be a long and complicated process, but it’s important to make sure you do it right. That’s why we recommend working with a patent expert. Zatapult is a marketplace of patent experts who can help you with everything from filing to grant of a patent. Get started today by clicking the phone icon to speak to a patent expert instantly and get your invention protected.


How to file a patent in India for free?

The cheapest way to file a patent is by filing the patent application yourself. In that case, you have to pay a government fee of 1,600 to file a provisional patent or complete patent application. Additional government fee of 4,000 will be applicable when you request for patent examination. Therefore, at least 5,600 of government fees is applicable during the entire patent process.

How long does patent process take in India?

The patent process timeline in India is generally 3-5 years during standard examination process. For fast track process, the examination timeline reduces to around 1 year (+/- 3 months).

How long does a patent last?

A patent is valid for a maximum period of 20 years in India, if patent renewal fees are paid on time. After 20 years, the patent rights expire.

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