Patent Filing Timeline

Step 1

Provisional/Complete Specification

q Prior Art Search may be conducted before filing a provisional/complete specification.

q If provisional specification is filed with first application, complete specification must be filed within 12 months from the filing date of provisional.

qForeign filing or PCT Application must be done within 12 months from the first filing.

qOnly complete specification can be filed as Convention or PCT Application.

qMarketing or commercialization of the invention can be started just after filing first application.


Step 2


q  Publication in official journal occurs automatically after 18 months of first filing.

q  Request for Early Publication can be made in case of any “Strategic Business Requirements”.

q  Publication is only after filing of complete specification.

q  After publication, anyone can access the disclosure and other details of the application through government or private patent databases.

q Publication can be stopped by expressly withdrawing Application till 15 months from the date of first filing.

q PCT and foreign application will be published in respective journals/databases.


Step 3


q  Examination of application by Examiner can only be done if Request for Examination has been filed.

q  Examination of application will be done only after publication of application.

q  Application for Request for Examination can be filed along with complete specification.

q  The deadline for filing Request for Examination is 48 months from the date of first filing;

q  If the deadline of filing Request for Examination is missed, the application will be abandoned and cannot be revived.  

q  PCT and other foreign applications will be searched/examined by respective examiners separately.


Step 4

First Examination Report

q  First Examination Report will be issued after examination of application.

q  Based on Patentability criteria, Examiner will object the application and issue the objection letter.

q The objection letter contains various prior arts, their similarity with the application, and objections on various non patentability and procedurals issues.

q Deadline for filing response to the First Examination Report is 6 months from the date of issue of FER. 


Step 5


qAfter receiving response towards FER, Examiner may issue subsequent examination report or call for a hearing.

q  Based on the argument and satisfying all objections raised in the FER, Examiner may grant/reject the application.

q  The notification of grant will be published in official journal.

q The Letter Patent will be issued subsequently.

q Subject to payment of renewal fee the patent will be valid till 2o years of the first filing date.