Patent protection in India can be obtained by filing an application online or by paper at the patent offices in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata or New Delhi.

A patent application in India can be filed as an ordinary national application complying with the requirements as provided under the Patents Act, 1970.

The Patents Act also allows countries which are signatories to an international, regional or bi-lateral treaty, convention or arrangement to have privileges in respect of protection of patent rights in the same manner as their country, provided India is a party to such treaties, conventions or arrangements and is afforded such protection in that country. A convention country can file an application in India within 12 months from the date of filing in the convention country.

India became a member of the Paris Convention on December 7, 1998 and is one among the 176 contracting states. An applicant from any of these contracting states can file an application in India within 31 months from the earliest date of priority on the basis of the International Application filed with WIPO.

A request for examination can either be filed at the time of making the application or within a period of 48 months from the date of filing or date of earliest priority claimed, as the case may be.

A request can also be filed for early publication by filing Form 9 along with the prescribed fee. The application is open to pre-grant opposition once it has been published.

A patent is open to pre-grant opposition from the date of publication. Post-grant oppositions can also be filed, but have to be filed within 1 year from the date of grant.

A patent is granted for a term of 20 years from the date of filing of the patent application. Renewal fees are required to be paid only once the patent is granted and have to be filed within 6 months from the date of grant for the period from the date of filing to grant and can even be paid annually or for the full term of the patent.

A patent may be revoked by a petition by any interested person, the Central Government or on a counter-claim in a suit for infringement of the patent by the High Court or other grounds as provided by Section 64 of the Patents Act, 1970. A suit for infringement of patent can be initiated before the District Courts or High Court of India.

This article has been authored by Durga Bhatt, an IP Law practitioner.

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