A Patent protects an invention. Before filing for a India patent application, it is essential to run a Patent search to find out if your invention is patentable. A patent search will bring out prior art data that is similar to your invention, and will help you in drafting a better patent claim. You will also be able to explain, why your invention is not obvious as compared to any information available in the prior art data or earlier patents.
Filing a Provisional Patent Application in India is the first step involved in obtaining a patent. The Provisional application allows you to file a patent application quickly as it does not include claims. Claims are a legally operable portion of your patent application. You may need to put in more effort and time to draft proper claims. In the process of this time consuming exercise, there is always a risk of another patent application being filed by another inventor in any other part of the world for your same invention. That is why, it is essential to file a Provisional Patent application soon after you have the invention ready.
Your Provisional application is not examined substantively by the Indian Patent Office. Provisional Patent Application only gets you an earlier priority date and a patent pending status. However, this application would expire in one year unless you file the Complete Specification along with the Claims
A Complete Specification should be filed within a year of filing the Provisional Patent application. In the alternative, you may file the Complete Specification directly without filing the Provisional application.
Stages in prosecution of a Patent Application :
1. Provisional Application
2. Complete Specification
3. Publication of Application
4. Examination of Application
5. Pre-grant opposition, if any
6. Grant of Patent
7. Post-grant opposition, if any