Patent prosecution is the patent process required to obtain a patent which involves interaction between the Assignee/Inventor or his legal representative and Patent Office with respect to his patent application. During the patent prosecution process, a patent application has to go through the following steps-
Filing of the Patent Application- An inventor can file patent application either online or offline at the patent office in any of the respective jurisdictions: Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.
Publication of the Application- After filing the patent application is published within18 months from the earliest priority date/ filing date of the application. Prior, to the publication the patent application is confidential to the patent office.
Request for Examination-A request for examination has to be filed within 48 months from the date of filing of the application or the date of priority whichever is earlier. Request for examination can be pertained either by normal examination route or by Expedited examination route.
First Examination Report-After the examination of the patent application by the patent controller/patent examiner a First Examination Report (FER) is issued to the applicant or authorized agent. The FER cites the deficiencies in the patent application in compliance with the Patents Act, 1970 along with the objections in terms of novelty/ inventive step/ industrial aplicability.
Examination Response- The applicant or his legal representative has to draft a reply to FER within 6 months from the date of issuance of FER overcoming the objections cited by the patent examiner.
Hearing- Hearing is conducted between controller and patent applicant is to ensure that all objections raised in the patent application are resolved easing the grant procedure.
Grant of the Patent Application- When the patent controller/patent examiner is satisfied that the patent application meets all patentability requirements. The granted patent is notified in the patent journal which is published from time to time.
Renewal of the Patent Application- In order to keep the patent in force, a renewal fee shall be payable to patent office at the expiration of the second year from the date of the patent or of any succeeding year.
Opposition of Patent application- A patent application can be opposed by anyone after the publication of the patent application. There are two types of oppositions-
Pre Grant Opposition- Opposition made after publication until grant of patent application.
Post Grant Opposition- Opposition made within 12 months after grant of the patent application.