National Stage Entry from a PCT Application

Innovative business products and solutions are protected globally by way of international patent applications under the PCT. Indian patent law provides significant rebate in official patent filing fees for startups, SMEs and individual inventors.

Patent Cooperation Treaty

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a worldwide patent law arrangement, finished up in 1970. It gives a brought together system to documenting patent applications to secure developments in every one of its contracting states. A patent application documented under the PCT is called a universal application, or PCT patent application.

A solitary recording of a PCT application is made with a Receiving Office (RO) in one language. It at that point results in an inquiry performed by an International Searching Authority (ISA), joined by a composed conclusion in regards to the patentability of the creation, which is the subject of the application. It is alternatively trailed by a fundamental examination, performed by an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA). Finally, the significant national or territorial experts control matters identified with the examination of use (whenever given by national law) and issuance of patent.

Patent Filing by Startups

Indian Patent Office permits a substantial percentage of deduction on the Official fee for Start-ups. As per the Patent Rules, 2003 (As Amended), Startup refers to an entity, where –
    1. More than five years have not elapsed from the date of its incorporation or registration;
    2. The revenue for any of the fiscal years, out of the abovementioned five years, did not exceed rupees twenty-five crores; and
    3. It is working in the direction of innovation, growth, use or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property.
Small Entity as per the patent office rules Means – (i) in case of an enterprise engaged in the manufacture or production of goods, an enterprise where the investment in plant and machinery does not exceed the limit specified for a medium enterprise under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 7 of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 (27 of 2006); and (ii) in case of an enterprise engaged in providing or rendering of services, an enterprise where the investment in equipment is not more than the limit specified for medium enterprises under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 7 of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006.

Patent Fees in India

The Official fee as applicable based on the legal status of the applicant. Patent applicants can file PCT application in India or in WIPO within 12 months from the priority date of Indian patent application. The official PCT fees include the filing fee, international search fee, and transmittal fee, and it varies based on the nature of applicant and selection of international search authority or the ISA.

Patent Filing Steps

The PCT National Phase Application filing in India includes the following steps:

    1. Filing the Patent Application: The application can be filed at any of the four Patent Offices located at Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai or Mumbai, depending on the domicile, business or place of the Applicant. If the applicant for the patent has no business, place or domicile in India, the appropriate Patent office will be the address of service in India. For example, patents can be filed at the Delhi Patent Office if the address for service is in Punjab.
    2. Publication of patent application: every patent application is published after 18 months from the date of filing. Alternatively, a request for early publication can be made in Form 9 along with the prescribed fee so that the patent office publishes the patent application within 4 to 6 weeks of filing of Form 9. Once published, the application is deemed to have entered the public domain.
    3. Filing the request for patent examination within 48 months from the date the Priority date: An Applicant should file Request For Examination (RFE) within 48 months from filing by way of Form 18. The Controller forwards the documents to the Examiner within a month from the date of publication or one month from RFE, whichever is later. Within a period of 3 months from the time of receiving the documents from the Controller, the Examiner establishes the examination report. The Controller forwards the Report (also known as First Examination Report or FER) to the applicant or his agent. An applicant has to comply with the requirements imposed on him within a period of 6 months from the date on which the FER is forwarded to him, else the application is deemed to have been abandoned.
    4. Intimation of receipt of First Statement of Objections
    5. Drafting and Filing the office action response to First Statement of Objections
    6. Attending hearing before the Controller followed by drafting and filing the response within a timeline of 15 days.
    7. Intimation of Order or Decision of the Controller
    8. Grant of Patent: After the instructions/ objections of the Controller are complied with, the application along with the complete specification will be published in the Patent Journal. The application is open to post-grant opposition for a period of 12 months.
    9. Annual Renewal of Patent
    10. Annual Filing of Working of Patents

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.

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