In today’s tech world, intellectual property plays a significant role. Patents are a critical asset for a startup as we all know. This is because a startup’s intellectual assets become its main differentiator and USP, giving it a competitive advantage and ultimately driving revenue.
If the startup fails to collect and preserve its intellectual property, it may collapse because some other established firm recognizes the benefits of the startup’s innovation. Well, how to file a patent in India?
Let’s take a look at what a patent is before we get started with the patent filing process.
What is the definition of a patent?
A patent is a legal document issued by the state or national government in accordance with national criteria. It gives a product’s inventor the exclusive right to make, use, and sell his or her creation for a fixed period of time.
The primary concept behind this method is to encourage creators to protect their own inventions. Books, movies and some works of art are not patentable. Copyright law on the other hand can protect these assets. Patent law is a subset of the larger topic of intellectual property law which also encompasses trademark and copyright law.
What kinds of inventions can a patent protect?
Any asset or invention that is eligible for a patent must meet three basic criteria:
- It needs to be unique.
- It has to be one-of-a-kind in its own right. An individual’s contribution to contemporary technology cannot be patented.
- It must provide value to the ordinary man’s life and must not benefit or support the usage of illegal substances or be used for any unethical purpose.
What areas should startups not patent?
Even though the purpose of a patent is to protect the creator’s work, many things do not qualify for one under Indian law (sections 3 and 5 of the Indian Patents Act, 1970):
• Agriculture or horticulture in any kind.
• Any procedure that falls under the heading of medical, surgical, curative or other humans, animal, or plant treatment.
• A breakthrough or discovery in the sphere of nuclear energy.
• Unique machine, device or process discovery.
A patent, without a doubt ensures that no one else may claim ownership of your idea. But, as a startup, do you know if your concept is patentable? We’re here to help. Coffeemug gives you access to a large network of qualified legal professionals who can help you determine whether your technology or business is patentable.
How to file a patent in India?
An inventor is granted an exclusive right to make, use and sell his invention after receiving a government patent. Protecting the inventions that are created encourages more progress. We will now examine how to file a patent in India.
1. Disclosing the invention
The initial step is to inform a professional about your concept. Signing a non-disclosure agreement accomplishes this.
2. Conducting a patent search
After acquiring clarity on the innovation, the inventor must do a patentability search. This is important since it will help determine whether the invention is unique. All inventions must meet the novelty requirements, according to the Patents Act. The patentability opinion can be considered after a thorough search and compilation of a patentability report.
3. Drafting a patent
You have the option of drafting the application yourself or hiring a professional to help you. If you opt to seek assistance, expect to pay between INR 20,000 and INR 30,000. This phase involves expertise in both technical and legal knowledge. All of your efforts will be wasted if the document is not written correctly. As a result, it’s a good idea to seek professional assistance.
4. Submitting a patent application
After you’ve reviewed your patent draft copy and are satisfied with the scope and specifications, you’re ready to file for a patent. Your patent application will be released after the 18-month period.
5. Submit an examination request
The applicant must request that the Indian patent office analyze your patent application within 48 hours at this point. The cost for this ranges from INR 4,000 to INR 20,000 (based on the type of applicant).
6. Addressing Objections (if any)
The draft and report provided to the patent office workers are thoroughly examined at this stage. At this point, the author has the option to describe his uniqueness or inventive step in comparison to any other piece of art uncovered during the evaluation. A patent application can almost be implemented if everything is clear and solved.
7. Obtaining a patent
If the application fits all of the requirements, it is placed in order for the grant. Most applications are approved by peer-reviewed journals.
8. Your patent must be renewed.
A patent is usually valid for 20 years. After 20 years, the owner must pay a small price to renew the patent.
Do you need assistance filing a patent for your startup?
Get in touch with Coffeemug. Come and discuss which patent filing makes the most sense and how you can protect your innovation.
Q. What are the advantages of having a patent for a startup?
- Attracting investors’ attention.
- Increases business valuation.
- Keeps your competitors at bay.
Q. What challenges do startups face while filing a patent?
- Technical details regarding your idea should be made public.
- From application to grant, the entire Patent process takes a long time.
- The entire patenting process is expensive.
Q. What is the rule of first to file?
A. Most countries will not grant patent protection to innovation unless the application is filed before the invention is publicly disclosed, such as by demonstrating it at a trade fair, publishing technical papers or selling it to third parties.
Q. What are some examples of utility patents?
- Items of manufacture (e.g. brooms, candleholders)
Q. What are the government’s patent-friendly policies for startups?
A. Startups in India are eligible for perks such as a discount of up to 80% on patent fees. On behalf of startups, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) absorbs this expense and gives a rebate in the statutory fees for filing applications.