How to file a PCT National Phase Patent in India
An application for PCT National Phase Patent in India consists of a set of forms along with a copy of Complete Specification including the description, claims, drawings and abstract. A POA from the inventor accompanies the application. These documents need to be in ENGLISH. One can file PCT National Phase Patent in India within 31 months of earliest priority date.
In order to file an application for PCT National Phase Patent in India we would require:
1. Name, address and nationality of applicants and inventors.
2. Complete Specification in ENGLISH (in text format).
3. The drawings in PDF/JPG format.
4. The certified copy of the priority documents (NOT be required for a PCT National Phase Patent in India).
Additional Information about PCT National Phase Patent in India
PCT stands for the Patent Co-operation Treaty. The PCT system facilitates filing of patent applications under a single application and provides for simplified procedure for the search and examination of such applications. This allows a resident or national of a PCT member state to obtain the effect of patent filings in any or all of the PCT countries and to defer the bulk of filing costs usually due on filing. Since December 7, 1998, it is possible to designate India in PCT applications and to elect India in the demand for preliminary examination.
If India is a designated country in the PCT application and is also elected in the demand for preliminary examination filed within 19 months of the priority date, then the deadline for entry into the National Phase in India is 31 months from the Priority Date. If the applicant does not so elect India in the demand for preliminary examination, then the deadline for entry into the National Phase in India is 21 months from the Priority Date. Therefore, all applicants who have designated India in their PCT application filed on or after December 7, 1998, will be able to file PCT National Phase applications in India.
The procedure under the PCT has great advantages for you as an applicant, for the patent Offices and for the general public:
you have up to 18 months more than if you had not used the PCT to reflect on the desirability of seeking protection in foreign countries, to appoint local patent agents in each foreign country, to prepare the necessary translations and to pay the national fees;
you can rest assured that, if your international application is in the form prescribed by the PCT, it cannot be rejected on formal grounds by any PCT Contracting State patent Office during the national phase of the processing of the application;
on the basis of the international search report and the written opinion, you can evaluate with reasonable probability the chances of your invention being patented;
you have the possibility during the optional international preliminary examination to amend the international application and thus put it in order before processing by the various patent Offices;
the search and examination work of patent Offices can be considerably reduced or eliminated thanks to the international search report, the written opinion and, where applicable, the international preliminary report on patentability that accompany the international application;
since each international application is published together with an international search report, third parties are in a better position to formulate a well-founded opinion about the potential patentability of the claimed invention; and
for you as an applicant, international publication puts the world on notice of your application, which can be an effective means of advertising and looking for potential licensees.
Ultimately, the PCT:
brings the world within reach;
postpones the major costs associated with international patent protection;
provides a strong basis for patenting decisions; and
is used by the world’s major corporations, research institutions and universities when they seek international patent protection.
How do I enter the PCT National Phase in India? Or any other country?
It is only after you have decided whether, and in respect of which States, you wish to proceed further with your international application that you must fulfill the requirements for entry into the national phase. These requirements include paying national fees and, in some cases, filing translations of the application. These steps must be taken, in relation to the majority of PCT Contracting States’ patent Offices, before the end of the 30th month from the priority date. There may also be other requirements in connection with the entry into the national phase – for example, the appointment of local agents. More information on national phase entry in general can be found in Volume II of the PCT Applicant’s Guide, and specific information concerning fees and national requirements can be found in the national chapters for each PCT Contracting State in the same Guide.
What happens to my application in the national phase?
Once you have entered the national phase, the national or regional patent Offices concerned begin the process of determining whether they will grant you a patent. Any examination these Offices may undertake should be made easier by the PCT international search report and the written opinion, which enable you to make necessary amendments to the claims in the application even before the national procedure starts. It is facilitated even more by the international preliminary examination procedure during which further amendments (and their patentability evaluation) are possible. You also achieve other savings in communications, postage and translations because the work done during the international processing is generally not repeated before each Office (for example, you submit only one copy of the priority document instead of having to submit several copies).
Written by Mahesh Bhagnari, Patent & Trademark Attorney in India.
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