Patent filing procedure helps one to get the legal rights of a certain invention. Every patent application starts with an invention and every invention starts with an idea. It is an exclusive right given to the inventor that restricts others from making or selling the same product. Patent filing plays an essential role in protecting your patent before coming into the public domain. To have a protectable invention you need to describe it with enough details in order to make it understandable. We will discuss the patent filing procedures and steps involved in it.
Patent Filing Procedure: The Major Steps
The patent filing procedure involves multiple steps in order to get a patent grant. The process starts with the patent search and goes on until the applicant gets a patent grant The patent filing procedure involves multiple steps in order to get a patent grant. The process starts with the patent search and goes on until the applicant gets a patent grant. The steps are as follows:
The first step in the patent filing process should be a patent search. Doing a patent search is the only way to get a realistic idea about the status of the invention. Hence, this step becomes extremely important for the inventors willing to get a patent. You can perform your patent search here to determine the patentability of the same. It helps in determining whether the invention is already in use or not.
Also read: Patent Search Types: ‘The Major Eight’
Drafting Patent Application
When the patent search completes, the next step is to draft the patent application. Patent drafting is a part of how to patent an idea and is the process of writing the patent description and claims. The patent draft is important as it helps to specify and declare in-depth information about the invention. This, in turn, will help the patent application get proper protection. Whether you will get a patent grant or not depends a lot on the patent draft.
Filing the Patent Application
Once you specify all the details and specifications of the invention, filing the patent application comes into play. If the state of the invention is in process, one must file a provisional application else one can file a complete application. The patent office allots a time of 12 months after the provisional application to file a complete application to the patent applicant. Declaration of the inventor’s name is one of the most important things to mention in the application. One needs to submit the patent application to the patent office of the region where the applicant resides.
Publishing of the Patent Application
After filing the patent application, the patent office publishes your application in the office patent journal. The publication of only complete applications takes place as the patent office does not publish provisional applications. It is important to publish the patent application as early as possible. This is due to the fact that the rights of the patentee start accruing only after the publication date.
Patent Application Examination
This is probably one of the most important steps in the patent filing procedure. After the publication of the application, it goes to the examiner for examining the patent application. The examiner compares the details of the invention to the prior art. The examiner asks to amend the application if any obligation is present in the application. The application moves ahead by issuing out a letter to the applicant citing the requirements.
Also read: What is Prior Art?
Office action response
Once the examiner issues the First Examination Report, the applicant has to successfully overcome the objections to receive a patent grant. The whole process may involve responding to examination reports, appearing for hearing, etc. The application won’t move further if the applicant is unable to satisfy the required examiner’s objection. On the contrary, the patent application moves ahead if the applicant provides acceptable arguments and clears all the objections of the examiner.
Notice of Allowance
Once the applicant clears all the objections of the examiner, the next step is a notice of allowance to the applicant. If there is no opposition regarding the patent application, the patent office issues a notice of allowance to the applicant. Moreover, a notice of allowance means the successful survival of the patent filing in the opposition period after publication.
Also read: Patent Watch Service: Types & Advantages
This is the final step of the patent filing procedure in getting a grant of patent. Once the patent application overcomes all the objections of the examiner, the patent office will grant a patent to the applicant. After getting the patent, the UPSTO publishes it in the patent gazette. Patent gazette is the online patent application database where publication of all the patent applications takes place.
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