Patent- Meaning, Definition, Procedure for filing

Last Updated On: Sept. 2, 2021, 11:10 p.m.



Patents are exclusive rights granted to an individual/entity for the discovery, innovation, or invention of a product or process. To obtain a patent, public disclosure of your invention via a patent application form is mandatory.

In India, patents are governed by the Patents Act, 1970 and Patent Rules, 2003. Patents are issued for 20 years and are enforceable only within the prescribed geographical limits.


Patentability of an Invention

Before you file a patent application, one must check the patentability of their invention. There will be slight variations in the patentability eligibility criteria based on your jurisdiction. However, the main criteria for patentability are as follows:

Total novelty: The invention should be new with no public disclosures in any part of the globe or through any other platform.

Non-obvious invention: No skilled person in the relevant area of technology should be able to decode your invention easily. Your invention should have a distinctive value-adding feature compared to existing inventions in the same field

Business or industrial application: The newly invented product or process should have a wide range of industrial utilities with positive economic implications.

You can also claim a patent for software if it represents a technological advancement that solves a technical problem.


The following inventions will not be construed as patentable:

Inconsequential inventions defying conventional natural laws

Inventions that intend to cause disruptions to public order, challenge moral grounds and cause harm to living beings

Further, the discovery of scientific principles, living & non-living things existing in nature, abstract theories, and variants of products or processes with no value-adding economic benefits

  • All artistic creations including music, theatre, cinema, web series, and television works
  • The mere arrangement, rearrangement, mixing, or duplication of substances
  • Nuclear energy inventions
  • Additionally, the creation of hybrid varieties of plants and animals
  • An agriculture or horticulture method
  • Generic or new rules for playing a game or pulling off a mental act
  • Different ways of presenting information or data
  • Configuration of integrated circuits.


Patent Filing Procedure in India

  • Drafting a Patent Application
  • Now that you have confirmed the patentability of your invention, the next step is to start your patent application process.
  • So what is the first form you need to fill? The first form to be filled in is Form 1 – the most basic application for a grant of patent. Additionally, ensure to attach all the necessary information and affix your signature.
  • Now, the next step is to complete Form 2. Depending on the status of your ‘invention’ (partially or fully completed) you may either apply for provisional or complete patent specification through this form. However, please note that in case you apply for provisional specification, you have just 12 months in your hand to finish your invention and provide the complete specification. In fact, the inability to adhere to this timeline leads to the cancellation of your patent application.
  • A patent draft also needs to be submitted along with the application form. It should contain information on the following:
  • A title for your invention with a summary of the same
  • References to similar patent applications
  • Declaration of any government grants received for R&D purposes
  • Further, names of all entities who contributed to the invention with their contact details
  • A complete description of your invention
  • Patent drawings
  • Patent scope
  • An abstract of public disclosure of the invention
  • Sequence lists, if applicable
  • An oath/declaration duly signed by you.
  • Next, you have to fill in Form 3 if you have applied for a patent in some other country as well. Thereafter, in case, you are applying for patent protection for your startup or are claiming small entity status, you need to fill in Form 28. In addition to all the above forms, you also need to complete the inventorship declaration through Form 5.
  • Payment of Application fees
  • The patent application charges payable are listed in detail in the First Schedule. Be cognizant of additional charges applicable, if any.
  • Publication of Application
  • The Indian Patent Office publishes all patent applications in an official patent journal. If you want to expedite the publishing process, you need to submit Form 9.
  • Scrutiny of Patent Application
  • To initiate the patent application examination by a patent officer, you need to submit Form 18.  Post Form 18 submission, the officer will scrutinize your invention and issue a FER (first examination report).
  • Grant of Patent
  • A patent will be granted when you successfully resolve all queries and objections by the examiner.
  • Patent Filing Procedure in India Flowchart

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