A provisional patent application is an initial step in obtaining a patent for an invention. It is a preliminary document that provides temporary protection for an invention for a period of 12 months from the date of filing. In India, provisional patent applications have become increasingly popular due to their cost-effectiveness and ease of filing. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know file provisional patent in India.
What is a Provisional Patent Application?
A provisional patent application is a document filed with the Indian Patent Office to establish an early priority date for an invention. It is a preliminary application that provides temporary protection for an invention for a period of 12 months from the date of filing. A provisional patent application does not provide a patent, but it allows the inventor to use the term “patent pending” on their invention, which serves as a deterrent to potential infringers.
Benefits of Filing a Provisional Patent Application
There are several benefits of filing a provisional patent application in India, such as:
- Cost-effective: A provisional patent application is much cheaper than a regular patent application, making it an ideal option for inventors who have limited financial resources.
- Early Filing: Filing a provisional patent application allows an inventor to establish an early priority date for their invention, which can be useful in case of potential infringement.
- Time to Evaluate: A provisional patent application provides an inventor with time to evaluate their invention and decide whether it is worth pursuing a full patent application.
- Disclosure: A provisional patent application requires the inventor to disclose their invention in detail, which can serve as evidence of the inventor’s priority date and help establish patentability.
- Secure a Filing Date: Filing a provisional patent application secures a filing date for an invention, which can be critical in establishing priority over other inventors who may have similar ideas.
How to File a Provisional Patent Application in India
Filing a provisional patent application in India involves the following steps:
- Write the Specification: The first step in filing a provisional patent application is to write a detailed specification of the invention. The specification should include a detailed description of the invention, the problem it solves, and its unique features.
- Prepare the Drawings: Drawings should accompany the specification. The drawings should be clear and concise, and should illustrate the invention in detail.
- File the Application: The provisional patent application can be filed online or offline with the Indian Patent Office. The application should include the specification, drawings, and the prescribed fee.
- Follow-up: After filing the provisional patent application, the inventor should follow-up with the Patent Office to ensure that the application is properly processed and that any issues are resolved.
Limitations of Provisional Patent Applications
While provisional patent applications have several benefits, they also have certain limitations that inventors should be aware of:
- No Grant of Patent: A provisional patent application does not provide a grant of patent. The inventor must file a regular patent application within 12 months of filing the provisional application to secure a patent.
- Limited Term: The protection provided by a provisional patent application is temporary and lasts for only 12 months from the date of filing. If the inventor does not file a regular patent application within this time period, they lose the priority date.
- Incomplete Specification: The provisional patent application does not require a complete specification, which can lead to gaps in the patent application that may affect the patentability of the invention.
Provisional patent applications are a useful tool for inventors who wish to establish an early priority date for their invention. They are cost-effective and provide temporary protection for an invention while an inventor evaluates its patentability. However, it is important to file a regular patent application within 12 months of filing the provisional application to protect your brand.