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Types of Patent Application

Types of Patent

Types of Patent Application

A patent registration is a statutory authorization or license which establishes a right or title over an invention for a particular period. It is primarily meant for the prevention of other businesses or its kind from making, using or selling an invention of a similar nature. In this article, we look at the different types of patent application in detail.

Patent Application

A patent application is a plea for the grant of a patent for the invention described and claimed by the applicant. An application for this purpose generally comprises of a description of the invention, added with official forms and correspondence relevant to the application. Patent applications are of several types, and each one of them caters to a unique purpose.

Types of Patent

The types of patent application are:

  1. Provisional Application
  2. Ordinary or Non-Provisional Application
  3. Convention Application
  4. PCT International Application
  5. PCT National Phase Application
  6. Patent of Addition
  7. Divisional Application

The rest of the article covers these types in detail.

Provisional Application

A provisional application, also known as a temporary application, is filed when an invention is under experimentation and isn’t finalized. Moreover, it is a preliminary application which is filed before the patent office for claiming priority, as the Indian Patent Office follows the ‘First to File’ system (known popularly as the First-Come-First-Served-Basis). In technical terms, early filing of an invention will prevent the occurrence of any other related inventions from being designated as prior art to the inventor’s application.

To add more, this type of patent application is filed when an invention requires additional time for development. If an application is supported by a provisional specification, the applicant is necessitated to file a complete specification within twelve months from the date of filing a provisional application. A failure in this part would render the application void.

An application for this purpose must include a brief explanation of the invention and must be drafted in a meticulous manner so as to ensure that the priority rights are secured for the invention.

Ordinary or Non-Provisional Application

This type of application is filed if the applicant doesn’t have any priority to claim or if the application is not filed in pursuance of any preceding convention application. It must be supported by a complete specification, the likes of which must depict the invention in detail.

Complete specification can be filed through:

  • Direct Filing – wherein complete specification is initially filed with the Indian Patent Office without filing any corresponding provisional specification.
  • Subsequent Filing – wherein complete specification is filed subsequent to the filing of the corresponding provisional specification and claiming priority from the filed provisional specification.

A complete specification entails the following:

  1. Title
  2. A preamble to the invention.
  3. The technical field of the invention.
  4. Background of the invention.
  5. Objects of the invention.
  6. Statement of the invention.
  7. A brief description of the drawings
  8. A detailed description of the invention.
  9. Claims
  10. Abstract

Convention Application

A convention application is filed for claiming a priority date based on the same or substantially similar application filed in any of the convention countries. To avail a status of convention, an applicant is required to file an application in the Indian Patent Office within a year from the date of the initial filing of a similar application in the convention country. To re-iterate in simpler terms, a convention application entitles the applicant to claim priority in all the convention countries.

PCT International Application

As can be deciphered from its name, a PCT Application is an international application. Though the application does not provide for the grant of an international patent, it paves the way for a streamlined patent application process in many countries at one go. It is governed by the Patent Corporation Treaty and can be validated in up to 142 countries. Filing this application would protect an invention from being replicated in these designated countries.

Unlike other applications, it renders the application a time-frame of 30-31 months to enter into various countries from the international filing date or the priority date, thereby affording the applicant with additional time to access the viability of the invention.

Apart from this, it renders the following other benefits:

  • The application provides an International Search Report citing prior art, which discloses whether or not the invention is novel.
  • It provides an option for requesting an International Preliminary Examination Report, which is a report that contains an option on the patentability of the invention.
  • The aforementioned reports facilitate the applicant to make more informed choices early in the patent process, as he/she can amend the application to deal with any conflicting material. Also, the applicant would receive a glimpse of the patentability of the invention before incurring charges for filing and prosecuting the application in each country.

An applicant from India can file this application at:

  • The Indian Patent Office (IPO), which acts as the receiving office.
  • The International Bureau of WIPO, either after availing a foreign filing permit from IPO or after six weeks and 12 months of filing an application in India.

PCT National Phase Application

It is considered essential for an applicant to file a national phase application in each of the country wherein protection is sought for. The time-frame for filing the same is scheduled within 31 months from the priority date or the international filing date, whichever is earlier. The time-limit could be enhanced through National Laws by each member country.

With respect to the National Phase Application, the title, description, abstract and claims as filed in the International Application under PCT shall be considered as the Complete Specification. Apart from this, the regulations applicable for filing and processing an ordinary patent application is also applied here.

Patent of Addition

This application must be filed if the applicant discovers that he has come across an invention which is a slight modification of the invention which has already been applied for or patented by the applicant. It can only be filed if the invention doesn’t involve a substantial inventive step.

A patent of addition is only granted after the grant of the parent patent, and hence no separate renewal fee should be remitted during the term of the main patent. Moreover, it shall be granted for a term equal to that of the patent for the main invention, and therefore expires along with the main patent.  The date of filing here shall be the date on which the application for patent of addition has been filed.

Divisional Application

An applicant may choose to divide an application and furnish two or more applications if a particular application claims for more than one invention. The priority date for these applications is similar to that of the parent application.