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Different Types of Patent Applications in India

There are different types of applications made to Patent office for registration of a Patent for new invention(s). These applications are just different ways to secure the rights of the inventors whether Nationally or Globally. Here, types of Patent applications should not be confused with types of Patents. Both are two different things.

Let us understand these different types of Patent applications in detail.

(1) Ordinary Application
An ordinary application is an application made to the Patent Office for registration of patent without claiming any priority of application made in convention country(ies) or without any reference to any other application(s) under process in the Patent Office.

An ordinary application may go through two different stages or only one. Initially as a provisional application which is followed by a complete application or as a complete application only.

- Provisional Application:

  • A provisional application helps in securing the rights of the inventor at a very early stage of its invention. 
  • A provisional application is a summary of the idea behind the invention. 
  • A provisional application can be briefed even as less as in a single page only.
  • It is very important that the application is well drafted and explains briefly the overall idea or process involved in the invention.
  • It is generally filed in cases where the research and development on the invention is still not completed fully.
  • The provisional application enables the applicant of it to claim the priority right on the invention from the date of filing of the application provided the application is followed by a complete application within the time prescribed.
  • A complete application needs to be filed within 12 months from the date of filing of the provisional application.
  • A provisional application can be accompanied by one or more drawing describing the invention.
  • A Claim statement is not required to be submitted with the provisional application.
- Complete Application / Non-provisional Application:

  • An applicant for registration of the patent can either directly file a complete application or can file it post filing of provisional application.
  • In case a provisional application was filed the complete application can not be too different from the invention mentioned provisional application.
  • While filing the complete application, the following documents must be submitted along with it.
    • Complete specification - includes background, priority art, detailed description.
    • Abstract - the whole invention in a summarized form (one or two paragraph)
    • Declaration of inventorship -  a form having details of inventors
    • Statement of undertaking - filing status of application in foreign country, if any
    • Power of attorney - authorising agent to file the application
    • Priority document - in case of convention application
    • Claim(s) - a declaration on all the claims on the invention
    • Drawing(s) - describing the process involved in invention
    • Fees - both online and manual option is available for the applicant to file application and pay fees
  • The drafting of application has many legal implications, hence it has to be very carefully worded.

(2) Convention Application
When an applicant has already filed an application in a convention country(ies) and subsequently filing the application with the Patent office in India, claiming the priority date on the application which was filed earlier, these kind of applications are called Convention application.

  • A convention application has to be filed within 12 months from the date of filing of the application in the convention country.
  • Convention countries are the group of countries (India being one of them) who have agreed under a treaty or treaties to protect the rights of patent inventors/applicants with similar privileges as are granted to their own citizens.
(3) PCT Application
PCT stands for Patent Cooperation Treaty. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international patent law treaty, concluded in 1970. It provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in each of its contracting states/countries.

- PCT International Application:

  • PCT application gives protection on patent in 140+ countries.
  • There is no such thing as getting world wide patent protection through filing of one international application. Only the countries who have signed the Patent Cooperation Treaty give the protection on Patented invention. Though an applicant can always apply in all countries in the world and get world wide protection (in case all gets approved).
  • An Applicant can file a PCT application at the Patent office in India and get the protection from the priority date i.e. the date of application.
  • The priority date obtained has an effect internationally (i.e. the PCT 140+ countries).
  • The applicant gets 30-31 months time to enter into these countries for getting protection on its invention.
- PCT National Phase Application:

  • PCT National Phase application is followed by the PCT international application as mentioned above. 
  • An applicant can file the national phase application in Patent office in India within 30-31 months from the international filing date or the priority date, whichever is earlier.
  • PCT National Phase Application claims the priority and international filing date.
  • The applicant has to file the same documents of invention i.e. the title, description, drawing, claims, abstract, etc as filed in the original country of application.

(4) Application for Patent of Addition/Division

- Divisional Application:

  • There are two circumstances under which a situation may arise for filing of divisional application.
    1. In case the applicant believes that the application filed by him has more than one invention and the other invention can be carved out from the original application and filed as a separate application.
    2. In case the Controller/examiner objects to the application pointing out the involvement of more than one invention in the original application. This generally happens when the claim statement mentions claims on two or more inventions. Then he may ask the applicant to file a separate application for the other invention.
  • In either of the case, the applicant has to file a new application for dividing the inventions in the original application.
  • Even though a new application is filed, the applicant gets the right on the invention from the priority date i.e. the date of filing of the original application.
- Patent for Addition:

  • An applicant can file another application for patent for addition in relation to his earlier filed application during its term.
  • If an applicant is desirous of making changes/improvement to the earlier invention, then he can take this route to protect his interest in a rather simple way than to go for a new application whole together.
  • However the modification suggested through the new application should be of substantive in nature than just a mere change of scripts.
  • The applicant does not have to pay any additional fees or renewal fees.
  • The Patent for addition will be granted post grant of original application.
  • The term of Patent for addition is same as term of originally granted Patent.

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