In the Indian patent system, a request to patent office has to be made to process the application to the Examination stage. Unlike other countries like USA, where the examination fee has to be paid at the time of filing itself, Indian Patent Act 1970 provides 4 years time frame to file and pursue the application to the examination stage.
A request for examination has to be filed within 48 months from the date of priority (priority date here is the date of first filing of the invention), Only then the particular application is considered for examination. If it is not filed within the specified time limit the application shall be treated as withdrawn. Hence Indian Patent Act 1970 makes it mandatory to file a request for examination.
It is interesting to note that a request for examination may be filed by the applicant of the application or by any other interested person in such application providing proper evidence of interest in the particular application to the Patent office.
It is advisable to file request for examination at the time of filing the application or else it is very necessary to keep a note on the 48th month due date to file request for examination.
In case of a national phase application (application in furtherance to PCT international application) an express request for examination can be filed so that the application can be examined any time before 31 months.
A Request for examination for a patent has to be filed on Form-18, specifying the details of the applicant or other interested person, application number, title, date of filing and publication date. Form-18 should have to be submitted along with prescribed fee of INR 2500 if the applicant is a natural person and INR 10,000 is the applicant is legal entity. After submission of such request a formal examination process shall be initiated as per the Patent Act 1970.
In case it is an express request for examination for a national phase application, the prescribed fee shall be INR 3500 if the applicant is a natural person and INR 14,000 if the applicant is a legal entity.
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Authored by Ms. Adithi Varna
Image from IP India website