Once filed, a patent application generally gets published nearly 18 months after the priority date. Thereafter, there is a 6-month window for any third party to file observations pertaining to the patent application. With regards to a simple patent, the window is three months.
An applicant can file the examination request within 36 months from the filing date. This period pertains to the international phase of a PCT application. In Indonesia, the country’s patent office doesn’t issue a direction to request for examination.
While the examiner might perform a fresh search, he/she may depend on any examination reports issued for corresponding applications in Europe, the US, Australia, and others.
The basic determinants of examining the patentability of an invention are novelty (absolute), industrial applicability, inventive step, and patentable subject.
The list of subject matter that is not considered patent worthy:
- Processes or products, use or implementation of which violates the existing rules and regulations, religious morality, public order or ethics;
- Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment methods pertaining to humans and/or animals;
- Theory and methods in the mathematics and science domain;
- Living creatures cannot be patented with an exception to micro-organisms; and
- biological processes that are critical in plant or animal production. (non-biological process or microbiological process are an exception).
In case the examiner identifies legal grounds to raise objection (eg: issues with novelty aspect of the invention/process), he can reject the application. If that happens, the applicant can appeal the examiner’s decision within a 4-month duration (which may be extended). The application stands withdrawn if the applicant fails to respond within the stipulated duration.
ii) Divisional Applications
An applicant can file a divisional application till the time examiner completes the examination of the original application.
The examiner issues a patent certification upon ensuring that there are no outstanding issues. It is well worth noting that there is no opposition or re-examination procedure. Third parties can seek to revoke a patent via legal means.