TYPES OF PATENT APPLICATIONS
- Ordinary Application
- Convention application
- PCT- International Application
- PCT -National Phase Application
- Application for Patent of Addition
- Divisional Application
The first application for patent filed in the Patent Office without claiming priority from any application or without any reference to any other application under process in the Patent office is called an ordinary application.
When an applicant files a patent application, claiming a priority date based on the same or substantially similar application filed in one or more of the convention countries, it is called a convention application. To get a convention status, an applicant should file the application before any of the patent offices within 12 months from the date of first application in the convention country.
PCT- International Application
The Patent Cooperation Treaty or PCT is an international agreement for filing patent applications. However, there is nothing called as a 'world patent'
The PCT application does not provide for the grant of an international patent, it simply provides a streamlined process for the patent application process in many countries at the same time. Some of the benefits of the system are:
- It simplifies the process of filing patent applications i.e., an applicant can file a single international patent application in one language with one receiving patent office in order to simultaneously seek protection for an invention in up to 138 countries throughout the world.
- It provides internationally recognized priority date, which has an effect in each of the countries designated.
- Delays the expenses associated with applying for patent protection in various countries. PCT gives 30 to 31 months time to enter into various countries from the priority date or international filing date whichever is earlier unlike the convention method which gives only 12 months time to file for a patent application in the country of interest from the priority date. Hence, the PCT route allows the inventor more time to assess the commercial viability of his/her invention.
- It provides an international search report. The results of this search are very valuable to the applicant. They allow the applicant to make more informed choices early in the patent process, and to amend the application to deal with any conflicting material, before the major expenses of the national phase of the patent process begin.
- Provides an option of an International Preliminary Examination Report that is forwarded to the elected Offices and the applicant, the report containing an opinion as to whether the claimed invention meets certain international criteria for patentability.
- These reports give the applicant a fair idea about the patentability of the invention before incurring charges for filing and prosecution in each individual country.
National Phase Application under PCT
The PCT-national phase must follow the international phase. The applicant must individually 'enter into the national phase'. i.e. file a National phase application in each county he wishes to enter. The applicant can enter the national phase in up to 138 countries within 30-31 months (depends on the laws of the designated countries) from the international filing date or priority date (whichever is earlier). If the applicant does not enter the national phase within the prescribed time limit, the International Application loses its effect in the designated or elected States.
Patent of Addition
Patent of addition is an application made for a patent in respect of any improvement or modification of an invention described or disclosed in the complete specification already applied for or has a patent.
In order to be patentable an improvement, should be something more than a mere workshop improvement and must independently satisfy the test of invention. The major benefit is the exemption of renewal fee so long as the main patent is renewed. A patent of addition lapses with the cessation of the main patent.
A divisional application is one which has been "divided" from an existing application. The applicant, at any time before the grant of a patent can file a further application, if he so desires or if an objection is raised by the examiner on the ground that the claims disclosed in the complete specification relates to more than one invention. A divisional application can only contain subject matter in the application from which it is divided (its parent), but retains the filing and priority date of that parent. A divisional application is useful if a unity of invention objection is issued, in which case the second invention can be protected as a divisional application.