Patent Registration

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Once you have planned for filing a patent, it is important to know the complete registration process and how you can proceed with the patent application in India. It is mandatory to perform a patentability search to know whether a patent is available or not? If you ignore this step it may create issues in a later stage while filing a patent application.

What is Patent registration?

Patent registration helps in the protection of an invention and grants exclusive rights to use their invention for 20 years without any hindrance. The objective of a patent is to protect inventions. It gives an award for the disclosure of the creation of something new as well as for the further development, or refinement, of existing technologies.

What is PATENT ACT, 1970?

The Patent Act is a part of the intellectual property legislation that deals in protecting innovations. There are two categories of patents, according to the Patents Act of 1970: product patents and process patents. The final result or output generated by a product is the product patent, while the journey of a patent being created is known as the process patent. Both methods or processes and products which are unique, contain an inventive step,  and are capable of industrial application qualify as inventions under the Patent Act.

The invention is defined in section 2(1)(j) of the Act as a unique product or process requiring innovative thinking and capable of industrial application. The term "industrial application" refers to an innovation that may be made or employed in the industry.

One of the requirements for the innovation is that it should be novel which means the patentable technology was not in the public domain or any part of the state of the art when it was submitted. Section 2(m) of the Act defines the word "patent." 

For example, Paracetamol Tablets can be regarded as a product patent, while the production of the tablets is a process patent; still, there is no transfer of rights and no idea of moral or economic rights in the patents. The most obvious example is that the medications or vaccines developed by the first nation for COVID-19 must be shared with all other countries.

Who can file a patent application in India?

A patent application can be made by any of the following people either individually or jointly with any person:

1.  True and first inventor

2.  True and first inventor’s assignee

3.  Representative of the deceased true and first inventor or his/her assignee

What are the patentability criteria in India?

According to the Patent Act, an invention, process or product can be granted protection if they fulfill the following criteria as mentioned below:

1. Novelty

Novelty means it must be new and should not be published in India or any other place. Your invention must create a new process or product which must be different from already known things.

2. Inventive Step

The invention of the patentee must have some creative input to get protection on the same. The invention must be unique through which technical problems can be solved with the new products that you are launching.

3. Industrial Application

An invention must be capable of being used and has industrial application to get patent protection. 

How Patent Search is conducted in India?

It is important to conduct a patent search before investing time and money in creating any new technology to determine whether the technology being developed is new or unique, to prevent repeating the wheel of the complete process, and to avoid infringing on any existing patent right. There are various ways to do a patent search depending on the type of application and requirement. Some ways for patent search are explained below:

India's Freedom to Operate Search (FTO)

Right to Use search is another name for Freedom to Operate (FTO) search. Companies conduct FTO searches before making large investments such as launching a new product or starting a new line of research that leads to the development of a new product to ensure that the commercial production, marketing, and use of their new product, process, or service does not infringe on the intellectual property rights of others.

FTO comprises a complete search and analysis of patent literature, such as patents that have not yet expired and patent applications that have been published. However, keep in mind that patent protection is geographical and has a restricted scope and duration while doing such searches.

It is possible to utilize the freedom to operate search in the following manner:

  • To lay, out a technical field
  • To be aware of any suspected violation
  • As a source of inspiration before the start of a new development project
  • To be aware of who is active in a particular subject
  • Must be aware of the nations in which certain rights may be applicable
  • To assess a region's potential for new activity

Novelty and Patentability in India:

Patentability & Novelty search is a prior art search that is commonly used to see if an invention fulfills the patentability criteria of novelty and non-obviousness. All of the aspects of the independent claims must be stated in a single document when using Novelty Search. Searching for novelty and patentability might be beneficial in the following situations:

  • To determine whether an innovation is new or not
  • Considering a detailed look at invention disclosures
  • Evaluating the innovative value of new goods
  • Taking advisory from professionals to file a patent application
  • Identifying the difference between state-of-the-art and innovative step

Prior Art/State of the Art Search for Patents:

A prior art search is carried out to identify the state of technology in terms of field development. The search is carried out across several databases in order to find relevant patents and/or published patent applications that are related to the technology in question.

The goal of performing a previous art search is to demonstrate the need for the current innovation. When a previous art search is completed, the results will clearly state the technical issues with current technology and the solutions to those issues, highlighting the distinctions between the claimed invention and prior art. The main goal of prior art or state-of-the-art search is to:

  • To determine the state-of-the-art in technology
  • To come up with R&D concepts
  • Reduce R&D spending by a substantial amount
  • To create innovative technology solutions to issues
  • To assess a certain technology
  • To keep up with emerging technical developments

Patent Validity / Invalidity Search:

After a patent has been granted, an invalidity or validity search is undertaken to determine the originality and inventive step of the patented invention at the time the patent application was submitted. Except for the desired conclusion (valid or invalid patent claims), these two searches are identical.

Required Documents

Acceptable DocumentDocument TypeAdditional Details
Statement and undertaking..
Proof of right to make an application..
The authorization of agent..
Declaration as to inventorship..


You Ask, We Answer

Generally, an invention which has been either published or publicly displayed cannot be patented as such publication or public display leads to lack of novelty. However, under certain circumstances, the Patents Act provides a grace period of 12 months for filing of patent application from the date of its publication in a journal or its public display in an exhibition organised by the Government or disclosure before any learned society or published by applicant. The detailed conditions are provided under Chapter VI of the Act (Section 29-34).
As prescribed by Indian Patent Act, an invention is patentable subject matter if it meets the following criteria - i) It should be novel. ii) It should have inventive step or it must be non-obvious iii) It should be capable of Industrial application. iv) It should not attract the provisions of section 3 and 4 of the Patents Act 1970.
A patent application is not examined automatically after its filing. The examination is done only after receipt of the request of examination in Form 18 either from the applicant or from third party or Form 18A for expedited examination (under conditions as prescribed in the Rules).
An invention which is new, involves inventive step and capable of industrial application can be patented. However, it must not fall into the categories of inventions that are non- patentable under sections 3 and 4 of the Act.
Ordinarily, under the following circumstances, it is not necessary to obtain prior permission from the Patent Office to file patent application abroad: (a) Applicant is not Indian resident and invention is originated abroad about. (b) If the applicant is Indian resident and filed patent application has been in India before filing the application outside India and six weeks period is over from that date. (c) The invention does not belong to Atomic Energy or defence purpose.
In India, patents are governed by the Patents Act, 1970 (No.39 of 1970) as amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005 and the Patents Rules, 2003.
As stated by WIPO, “Patent protection is a territorial right and therefore it is effective only within the territory of India. There is no concept of global patent. However, filing an application in India enables the applicant to file a corresponding application for same invention in convention countries or under PCT, within or before expiry of twelve months from the filing date in India. Patents should be obtained in each country where the applicant requires protection of his invention”.

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