Patent Business Lawyer in Asia

Patent Attorney practicing Patents, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Venture Financing, Startup Technology Law

The growth rate of Indian patent applications was highest in 2018. Patent filing in India is aimed at obtaining protection from the patent office. PCT patent filing in India can either an international phase application, or a national phase application. A PCT international application is received by the Indian patent office and forwarded to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), whereas a PCT national phase application is filed in India subsequent to a PCT international application.

Experienced patent attorneys provide efficient patent filing and patent prosecution services by analyzing the granted patents and patent prosecution history. This is also helpful in conducting patent infringement analysis, patent validity analysis or patent invalidation searches, and utilizing the patent infringement and patent validity analysis with business intelligence capabilities to provide effective patent strategies.

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Inventors across the world plan to file international patent applications to protect their innovation across multiple countries. This can either be achieved by filing a conventional application within 12 months in India or by filing a PCT application with WIPO. The goal is to obtain best possible protection by filing patents.

Patent protection provides an exclusive right to the patent applicant to prevent others from making, using, or selling the patented subjected matter described in legal structure of the patent claims.

Protecting an idea requires protecting by patents, one or more important embodiments of the idea that are patentable. To be eligible for patent protection, the invention as defined by patent claims must be new or novel. By novelty we mean that the invention must not have been patented or described in a prior art publication previously, including both the patent and non-patent literature.

For an invention to be eligible for patent protection, the patent claims must describe an innovation that is capable of industrial application. Patent attorneys are hired to write the provisional patent application and non-provisional patent specification including formal set of patent claims. The provisional patent application provides a priority date for an invention that includes important aspects of the invention, which are drafted as set of formal patent claims at the time of filing non-provisional patent application.

Overview of Patent Laws and Patent Process in india from Rahul Dev

PCT patent application procedure begins by filing complete patent application in your home country, and then subsequently claiming the patent priority date to file an international phase PCT patent application.

Filing an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty comes with two phases and the national phase is one of the main patent phases of the PCT procedure followed worldwide. After filing a patent under international phase from the home country, the patent applicant can enter his patent application under national phase in one or more contracting states of the PCT treaty.

Time period for the patent applicant to enter national phase patent in India or regional phase patent application under PCT in India is 31 months from the first priority date of the application.

The international patent phase includes filing patent application before the WIPO, wherein a prior art search is conducted by the international searching authority, and a written opinion is issued by the searching examiner on novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. Thereafter, the PCT patent application is published in the WIPO global database.

However, the international phase ends 30 months or 31 months depending upon the PCT member country from the earliest priority date of the patent application. The patent applicant must decide the PCT member countries where he wants to secure his patent rights according to the business goal and IP strategy. In the PCT member countries where the national phase is not entered by the patent applicant, the international patent application is considered withdrawn or abandoned.

The PCT National Phase Patent application in India is filed with a copy of Complete patent Specification which includes the following details:

If the Controller requires, a certified copy of the priority patent document has to be filed within 3 months from the date of communication by the Controller, of such requirement. If the priority document is in a language other than English, a verified English translation must be submitted before the Indian Patent Office.

What is the timeline to file PCT national phase patent in India from the International Patent Filing Date?

Time limit to enter India under National Phase under PCT is 31 months. The National Phase of a PCT Application in India is similar to the filing of a regional patent in India before the Indian Patent Office (IPO).

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.

EXPRESS AND EXPEDITE PATENT EXAMINATION IN INDIA

In India, an application for patent only goes through examination when a request for such examination is made to the Controller of Patents within a period of 48 months from the date of filing of that patent application, or from the date of priority of the first mentioned patent application, or within a span of 6 months from the date of filing of a further patent application such as a Divisional Application, whichever is later.

PCT National Phase Application in India

In case of a PCT (Patent Corporation Treaty) National phase application, an express request, along with a prescribed fee according to Rule 20(4)(ii) of the Patents Rules, 2003 (as amended), for examination can be made before the expiry of 31 months from the priority date of the said PCT national phase application. Once the express request has been made, the Controller is required to pass on that application to an examiner, and the examiner is then required to summarize and prepare an examination report within 1 month but not exceeding three months.

India’s federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry {Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion} in 2016 introduced new provisions under the Patents Rules, 2003, which permits a patent application to move out of turn for a faster prosecution. According to the new provisions the Indian Patent Office (IPO) are progressing applications out of turn for the examination if a request for expedited examination for an application along with the prescribed fees filed under Rule 24C of the Patents Rules, 2003 (as amended).

Expedited Patent Examination

However, the provision for expedited examination is only available to, startups and applicants who have designated “India” in their respective PCT applications, as an International Searching Authority (ISA) or International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA). Therefore, selecting India as ISA in a PCT application can be favorable for the Applicants to expedite grant process of corresponding PCT national phase Indian application. Under the expedited examination, the examiner is obligatory to give the First Examination Report (FER) within 1 month but not exceeding 2 months from the date of reference of the application to the Examiner for examination by the Controller, and further, the final disposal of the application is to be taken within 3 months of filing of response to the First Examination Report.

In India, patent offices initiated the expedited examination process in 2016 and, using this expedited examination process, many startups in India, including Optimus Pharma Pvt. Ltd., a Hyderabad based company, were able to get the patents granted within a record time of almost 10 months. The startup got a patent process of Apixaban, an anti-coagulant, in record time of almost 4 months under the expedited examination process. Such diminution in time will for sure help in cost efficiencies related to the management of a patent application up to their grant.

To provide the high demand of request for expedited examination of patent applications, IPO has also recently employed more than 250 patent examiners, affecting a substantial increase in the number of existing patent examiners. With this increase in the number of employed patent examiners, the period of ordinary patent examination is substantially declined to 2-3 years, which used to be almost 6-7 years and sometimes even more.

International Patent Applications filed in India under National Phase before the Indian Patent Office

A PCT international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty can be filed before the Indian Patent Office before the expiry of 31 months from the priority date of the patent application. The complete patent specification should be filed along with Form 1.

In case, the language of the international patent application is in any other foreign language other than English, it has to be translated in English and the translated English copy has to be duly verified by the patent applicant or the person duly authorised by him that the contents thereof are correct and complete.

The patent translation of the international application should include the following details:

i. the patent description;
ii. the patent claims as filed;
iii. any text matter of the drawings;
iv. the patent abstract; and
v. in case the applicant has not elected India and if the claims have been amended under Article 19, then the amended claims together with any statement filed under the said Article;
vi. in case the patent applicant has elected India and any amendments to the description, the patent claims and text matter of the drawings that are annexed to the international preliminary examination report.

Advantage to Foreign Entities Filing Patents under PCT & entering India in National Phase

The patent attorney can file express patent examination request in Form 18 / Form-18A along with the fee specified in first schedule, at any time before thirty one months from the priority date.

Frequently Asked Questions by Inventors’ Worldwide

Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.

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.

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

Global Blockchain Lawyers (www.GlobalBlockchainLawyers.com) is a digital platform to discuss legal issues, latest technology and legal developments, and applicable laws in the dynamic field of Digital Currency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and raising capital through the sale of tokens or coins (ICO or Initial Coin Offerings).

Blockchain ecosystem in India is evolving at a rapid pace and a proactive legal approach is required by blockchain lawyers in India to understand the complex nature of applicable laws and regulations.

International Trademark Filing in India – The Madrid Protocol

  1. India adopted Madrid Protocol in 2013
  2. The Madrid Protocol is a WIPO administered treaty to simplify the process of filing trademarks across multiple jurisdictions
  3. Trademark applications can be filed in India under the Madrid Protocol when India is either the origin country or the designated country
  4. If India is the origin country, the Indian Trademarks Registry (TMR) will receive the applications for international registrations of trademark
  5. If India is the designated country, the international trademark application is filed with WIPO selecting India as the designated country

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Replying to Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol

International Trademarks and Brand Protection

Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol Services

Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol: Although, it is not possible to register a particular brand as “International Trademark”, the Madrid Protocol system provides an easy solution to the companies and individuals if the country in which they want to register their trademark has signed up the Madrid Protocol.

India signed up for Madrid Protocol With WIPO in the year 2013. Madrid System, including Madrid Agreement and Protocol relating to Madrid Agreement, is an international treaty to facilitate international registration of trademarks and management of trademark applications worldwide.

How Madrid Protocol Trademark System Works in Favour of  Brand & Trademark Owners

It can be used to file and register the trademark in the home country, for example, resident of India will file trademark in India first and subsequently be able to secure wider trademark protection globally. Once the Indian trademark application is filed before the Indian Trademark Office, one can extend the trademark registration in other countries by using a single trademark application. The details of the single trademark application should include desired countries in which you want to seek trademark protection.

Overall costs for filing trademark under Madrid protocol will depend on the applicable official government fees of the designated countries in which you are applying to register your trademark brand, and the number of trademark classes.

Filing International Trademark Applications Under Madrid Protocol With WIPO – Procedure, Cost and Requirements for Indian Trademarks

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Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol – Governing Treaties

The treaties provide an easy and cost effective way of filing international trademarks. Once the trademarks are registered by respective designated offices, the Madrid protocol further provides simple procedures to manage international registrations.

Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol: Office of Origin

The trademark office that receives application under Madrid protocol is known as office of origin.

Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol: Designated Offices

The trademark applicant can designate one or more trademark offices as contracting party, which is then notified about filing of trademark application under Madrid protocol by WIPO.

Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol: Madrid Protocol Application – General Procedure

Usually, once the international trademark application is filed with designation of countries with the office of origin, the contents of said application are verified by said office of origin. Once done, the application is forwarded to WIPO, which is then published by WIPO and subsequently, WIPO notifies all the designated offices. Thereafter, each designated office examines the trademark application as per respective trademark laws, rules and procedures.

Madrid Trademark Application in India

The Indian Trademark Office is authorized to receive an international trademark application under Madrid Protocol.

Madrid Trademark Application in India – Requirements

The basic criteria to file Madrid Trademark Application in India requires applicant to be eligible to file said trademark application, which essentially requires the applicant to be an Indian national or having a place of business in India. In addition, the Indian trademark office requires an existing trademark application, known as the basic application, and designation of one or more countries wherein international trademark protection is required.

Documents Required for Filing Trademarks in India

The Indian Trademark Office requires an international trademark application under Madrid Protocol to be accompanied by an application form, power of attorney, payment of handling fee, and payment of international designation fee (in Swiss Francs) payable to WIPO.

Madrid Trademark Application – Role of Office of Origin

During the process of receiving an application for international trademark registration under Madrid System, the office of origin plays an important role. After receiving the application, the office of origin verifies the contents, certifies the application and forwards it to WIPO for publication and notification to designated offices. Subsequently, the office of origin receives details of irregularities in the application, if any, and further communicates with WIPO regarding status of basic trademark application.

Responding to Provisional Refusal from the Indian Trademark Office under Madrid Protocol

The Indian Trademark Office examines every international trademark registration designating India received from the International Bureau of WIPO. An International Registration Designating India (IRDI) number is allotted by the Trade Marks Registry to every International Registration in which India has been designated. The trademark examiner examines the Brand trademark on the ground of non-distinctiveness and similarities to registered trademarks and pending trademarks before the Indian Trademark Registry.

While examining the trademark application, if there is any objection for protection of such trademark registration in India, a provisional refusal is notified to the International Bureau of WIPO within 18 months from the date the international registration was notified to India.

General objections raised by Trademark Registry in India | Trademark Objections under Provisional Refusal In India

9(1){a) under Indian Trademark Law- The objection is raised under S 9(1) (a) of the Trade Marks Act 1999, as the mark is non-distinctive and as such it is not capable of distinguishing the services of one person from those of others.,
11(1) under Indian Trademark Law – The objection is raised under S 11 (1) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, as the mark is identical with or similar to earlier marks in respect of identical or similar description of services and because of such identity or similarity there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public.

The provisional refusal includes an Examination Report containing objections. The International Bureau records the provisional refusal in the international register and provides the details of such provisional refusal to the trademark applicant of the international registration.

The provisional refusal is recorded in the International Register, together with an indication of the date on which the notification was sent. The provisional refusal is also published in the WIPO Gazette, with an indication as to whether the refusal is total (i.e. relates to all the goods and services covered by the designation) or partial (i.e., relates to only some of those goods and and services covered)

Responding to Provisional Refusal Issued by the Indian Trademark Office under the Madrid Protocol

The trademark applicant can respond to the provisional refusal by engaging a trademark agent or an  Indian trademark attorney having address in India by executing a Power of Attorney in the favour of the agent/attorney.

Follow the Deadline Dates | Trademark Response Deadline to Respond to the Objections:

The normal deadline to respond to trademark objections raised by the Indian Trademark Office is 1 month from the date of receipt of the provisional refusal notification by the trademark applicant. Technically, once the trademark applicant receives the provisional refusal notification from the International Bureau of WIPO the last date to respond to provisional refusal can be calculated.

Note:  If you have opted to receive notifications from the International Bureau of WIPO by paper mail, it is advisable to retain the postal receipt. So, if there is a delay by the post the date of receipt of the provisional refusal from WIPO, the postal receipt will act as documentary evidence.

What to do if you miss the deadline / extension of timeline to respond to trademark objections raised by the Indian Trademark Office?

The Indian trademark attorney can file an application for extension of time and the same is at the discretion of the trademark office. The Trade Marks Registry (TMR) office of India then considers the response of the trademark applicant of the international registration and may either confirm the refusal or move for advertisement of the international registration in the Trade Marks Journal.

Amending detailed description of different trademark goods/services:

Any amendments in goods/services in respect of the Indian trademark application needs to be made only at the International Bureau of WIPO and the same needs to be notified to the Indian Trademark Office by the International Bureau of WIPO.

Relevant legal provisions in Indian Trademark Law for International Trademark Applications Filed under Madrid Protocol

A new interpretation/definition clause has been inserted in accordance with the Madrid Protocol in Indian Trademark Law (S.36B read with Rule 67A).

Applicant or registered proprietor of trademark under section 18 or under section 23 (‘basic application’ or ‘basic registration’) of the Act may make an international application in Form MM2 (E) along with prescribed fees in Swiss francs.

The Registrar shall certify & forward it to the International Bureau within two months from the date of receipt of the said application & for this, a fee of INR 2000 is payable to the Registrar towards handling charges (S. 36D read with Rule 67E & 67F).

A separate record for international registration where India has been designated shall be kept by the Registrar called the ‘Record of Particulars of International Registration (S. 36E read with Rule 67G).

For a period of five years from the date of an international registration, if the initial basic national application/registration ceases to have effect, through a withdrawal, refusal, cancellation following a decision of the Office of origin, or Court, or voluntary cancellation, or non-renewal, the international registration will no longer be protected. After the expiry of a period of five years from the date of international registration, the registration becomes independent of the basic registration or basic application (S.36D & S.36E).
Provided that, where an appeal is made against the decision of registration nd an action requesting withdrawal of application or an opposition to the application has been initiated before the expiry of the period of five years of an international registration, any final decision resulting in withdrawal, cancellation, expiration or refusal shall be deemed to have taken place before the expiry of five years of the international registration. (Provision of Sub-section 5 of Section 36D).
The Registrar shall examine the application within 2 months where India has been designated. If grounds for objection are found during the examination by the Registrar, or if an opposition is filed, the Registrar can declare a provisional refusal (within 18 months of receipt of the application’s notification from the International Bureau for India) for protection of the mark in that member country (S.36E read with Rule 67H).

The international registration of a trade mark at the International Bureau shall be for a period of ten years and may be renewed for a period of ten years from the expiry of the preceding period and subject to payment of a surcharge prescribed by the rules, a grace period of six months shall be allowed for renewal of the international registration (s. 36G).

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyerpracticing 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

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

We represent our clients as leading patent lawyer in Gurgaon and patent attorney in Gurgaon for providing various patent services in India.

 

Food and Beverage (F&B) Business in Gurgaon

As per latest tech trends, when food meets technology to reach the customers, it is termed as Food Tech startups. In a city like Gurgaon, food startups have significant advantages as it is one the hottest place in India to launch a food business. With multinational crowd, demand for new options for food is ever increasing and on-demand (home delivery) provides immense convenience to end-users.

Originally published here.

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Online Food Startup: Business Model

Latest companies and startups in F&B space are establishing innovative business models. For example, kitchen in the cloud model embodied by FoodPort allows players to run their own kitchen instead of outsourcing or aggregating.

Another category is aggregators, which is well known due to the likes of Zomato and Swiggy. In this model, the aggregators provide interactive web-based platforms and mobile apps to users to connect with restaurants. Such interaction provides a diverse range of options, including managing the listings, taking food orders online, food delivery, etc.

Paradigm Shift

Traditional food stores are changing their business model completely from offline to online due to high rentals and unbearable maintenance costs. For example, Buenowhich had an outlet in DLF CyberHub (CyberCity), recently shifted to an online food company model.

Angel Investment & Venture Capital Funding

Food tech startups are buzzing with funding news in recent past. For example, InnerChef, a food-technology company based in Gurgaon, recently announced pre-series A funding. InnerChef delivers ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meals by providing an online fresh food delivery platform offering fresh paninis, salads, combos, snacks and desserts throughout the day.

Business Validation

Due to huge corporate base, Gurgaon is largest market in India for customer validation and although numerous food tech startups have received angel funding and influx of venture capital investments, only a few will survive in future because the market is all set for consolidation.

Food Startups and Law

There are some crucial legal considerations associated with food business and appropriate measures are required to minimize the risk / liability. Specifically, to launch and grow a food startup / business quickly, it would require formulating strategy to handle potential issues relating to corporate law, employment law, intellectual property rights, and taxation.

Initial steps to start a food tech startup include determining an appropriate corporate structure by incorporating a legal entity (private limited company, partnership, OPC, LLP etc.)

With a view to have clarity regarding management roles, co-founders agreement (shareholders agreement) should be executed having detailed provisions for role of founders (directors or promoters), commitments, cash investments, shareholding pattern, vesting schedule, lock-in period, dispute resolution mechanism, and exit procedure. This helps in smooth functioning of business. Similarly, appropriate contracts, agreements and legal documents should be executed with Investors, manufacturers and third party vendors.

Intellectual Property (IP) ownership should be clearly stated in all documents and agreements. As a standard practice, all IP rights (patents protecting technology, trademarks protecting brand names and copyrights protecting other artistic works) should generally be owned by the company.

For more updates, follow GurgaonTech on Twitter and Facebook.

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Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at info (at) techcorplegal (dot) com &@rdpatentlawyer on Twitter

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