Express and Expedited request for examination

After filing any patent application in India, a request for examination must be filed with the Indian patent office without which the patent off will not take up the application for examination.

Ordinarily, a request for examination of a patent application filed in India shall be made within 48 months from the date of the earliest priority application. The request for examination can be filed by the applicant or by any interested third party. After filing the request for examination, the Indian patent office will take up the application for examination in due course in the order in which the requests were filed. If no such request for examination is filed within the prescribed time limit, the application shall be treated as abandoned by the applicant.

Fast-tracking a patent application in India is possible by filing a request for Express or an Expedited examination of the patent application by the Indian Patent Office.

Request for Express examination of patent application in India

A request for express examination of the patent application can be made only in respect of a PCT national phase application filed in India. A request for the express examination should be made before the expiry of 31 months from the earliest priority application date in respect of the said national phase PCT patent application filed in India. Once the request for express examination has been made, the Controller is required to pass on the application to an examiner, and the examiner is then required to summarize and prepare the first examination report within one month but not exceeding three months.

Request for Expedited Examination of patent application in India

A request for expedited examination is filed by an applicant requesting the Indian Patent Office to accelerate the examination of the application. A request for expedited examination must be accompanied by a request for publication unless the application has already been published or the request for publication has already been filed. The applications for expedited examination are allotted to a separate queue, different from the normal examination queue, that already has thousands of applications awaiting examination. Hence, the applications for which expedited examination is requested will be allotted to an examiner for examination sooner than the applications that are queued for a normal examination. An ordinary request for examination already filed can also be converted to a request for expedited examination by paying the additional fees.

Who can file for Expedited Examination?

An applicant who are Start-ups & Small Entity in India, where at least one applicant is Female, Indian Government Departments/Companies, Institutions controlled/financed by the Indian Government or when inventions belong to specially notified sectors by Indian Government or when there is a bilateral agreement between Indian and the Foreign Patent office and when the applicant(s) while filing their PCT application has selected India as the International Searching Authority (ISA) or International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA).

Difference between Express and Expedited examination

Request for express examination is filed to request the Indian Patent Office to examine the patent application before the expiry of 31 months. By filing this request, the application does not jump the queue of requests for examination. Whereas requests for expedited examination is filed by the applicant to skip the regular queue of requests for examination.

Fee for requests for patent examination in India

Description of requests for examination Natural Person/Start-up Small Entity Others
Request for examination Rs.4000 Rs.10000 Rs.20000
Request for Express examination Rs.5600 Rs.14000 Rs.28000
Request for Expedited examination Rs.8000 Rs.25000 Rs.60000
Converting ordinary request to expediated Rs.4000 Rs.15000 Rs.40000