A patent is necessary to ensure that no one else can ever come and proclaim your idea as their own. In the present day scenario, everyone is keen on outdoing their competitors and provide something innovative to their customers. The entire process of a new product idea generation and reaching to its final execution is not easy either. You have to go through a multitude of steps before the product reaches the market. One amongst these many steps includes the process of patent registration.
As per Startup India Action Plan, recognized startups can get up to 80% rebate in filling patents
If you are also beginning to get an innovative idea and want to know how to file a patent here are five steps that you need to complete.
1. Understand the scope of the idea.
Generally, any idea can be patented if it is related to a process, product, and a machine. An idea that needs to be patented should be useful and fall into either of these categories.
If you wish to file a patent in India, you might have to visit the Intellectual property website in India to know what kind of ideas are considered to be patentable. Mentioned below are inventions which may or may not fall into this category.
- Computer software – Your idea could be related to a process which allows the computer to do something innovative and different.
- Design – If you have a prototype or design of an object you could get that patented as well.
- Discovery– In case you have discovered a new organism or scientific process you could get that patented as well.
- No abstract ideas – Make sure that your invention has a practical use to it. Anything related to a natural phenomenon or something abstract cannot be patented.
2. Researching the idea
Your idea needs to be exclusive, and it should not have been done before. Is it something very obvious? Is it possible that someone has already thought of it before you? If yes then maybe your idea cannot be incorporated. Think whether the execution of your idea would be helpful to the customers and manufacturers you are targeting.
Next, find out if you can apply for the patent or not.As per Indian patent laws, you can file for a patent if you are the inventor. However, you can ask any of your representatives also to do so. If the invention has been done in a joint set up you would have to apply as joint investors.
There are certain patent rights which you need to adhere to. You would have to aggressively understand the Indian patent search policies before even considering filing the patent.
“The idea can be successful only if there is a need gap for and the customer is convinced that your product is filling it up.”
3. Make a prototype
The third step in the direction of creating a product is to build a working model or prototype. This process is crucial to understand whether there are any technical or other flaws in the making of the product. Your patent idea may be good enough, but its execution may not be technically feasible.
Once you create a prototype, you might have to change it multiple times until a final perfect piece is created. Never go to the next step of patent filing till your prototype is not created. You will not be allowed to make any changes to it once the patent has been registered. In normal circumstances, you have to follow a three-step process for prototype creation.
- Sketch – Whatever your idea sketch its final look onto a piece of paper. You could create an inventory journal in which the same could be mentioned.
- Model – Next comes the creation of a 3D model of the idea.
- Final Prototype – In the end, you would have to create a working model on the same lines as the model you created before.
The final prototype is the model that you would test multiple times before finally sending it for patent registration. You might also have to assess other aspects like how much does a patent cost before taking the next step ahead.
4. Filing a patent
This is apparently the toughest part of the entire process of getting your idea patented. It is advisable that you first go through the ritual of finding whether the product you are focusing on satisfies the criteria of patentability. Find out the patent cost and the entire procedure. You might have to consult ap lawyer who would be able to search other databases to see if there is a possibility of patent infringement.
The next step is now going to draft and write the application for patent registration in India. Before submitting your application in the Indian Patent office, you should thoroughly study the guidelines that need to be followed while filing an application. There are two ways in which you can file your patent in India:
- You can file a provisional patent application in the Indian patent office. If you feel your idea is prone to be stolen, you can file the provisional application in the R&D stage itself. You can follow it later with the entire details of the idea and how you wish to put it into action.
However, be careful to adhere to the 12 months’ deadline else your application would be rejected, and you might have to start all over again.
- If you have everything prepared, you can file the complete or non-provisional patent application. A complete patent application comprises of many sections, and you have to fill each one of them sensibly. Try to give a comprehensive overview of the technologies used and how they would serve their purpose together.
If you are in two minds about how to apply, you can hire the services of a patent lawyer to do so for you. Once your application has been approved, you would be issued a patent certificate mentioning that the idea has been granted solely to you.
The startup India movement is a unique effort on the part of the Indian government to guide such inventors. If your idea is unique and feasible, you can reap all the benefits that the government provides.
5. Assessing the outcome
Finally, now that your patent filing procedure has been completed you would have to wait for the final response on the same. If you get a positive result, there would be fees that you would have to pay. However, in a situation of a reject, you might have to sit back and assess the places where you need to improvise.
You can hire the services of an invention promotion firm to help in the application filing process. Select the service provider after carefully assessing his past work. This would give you an idea about how fruitful his associations have been. The patent lawyer you consult can also give you an idea about which firm is best for you.
A patent is required so that you can use your idea for maximum benefits. Patent is provided for ideas which are unique and have not been touched before. Do not wait too for a long time to file or someone else could grab the idea.
On the flipside, you may also have to understand whether the market is prepared for such a product to be launched. If you are still confused you can always consult external agencies to guide you with the same.
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