Patent protection is granted for a period of twenty years by the Indian patent office. For the patentee to enjoy the benefits of his patent, the renewal fees must be paid on time. Renewal fees are payable before the expiration of the second year from the date of the patent in respect of the third year. Thereafter, renewal fees should be paid before the commencement of every succeeding year.

When the patent is granted after the expiry of two years from the date of filing the patent application, the renewal fee becomes due within three months from the date of grant of the patent and within the extended time of six months.

A patent granted in India lapses when the patentee fails to pay the renewal fee within the given time. The patentee can file an application to restore the lapsed patent within 18 months from the date of lapse/cessation.

The application to restore the patent needs be accompanied by a statement describing the circumstances which lead to the failure of non-payment of the renewal fees and additional fees along with proof that the delay was not intentional. Upon being satisfied on the grounds on which the renewal fees were not paid, the Controller of patents may allow the application for restoration and order publication of the restoration of the patent in the official patent journal which will be open to public for oppositions for a period of two months from the date of publication of the patent journal. If the Controller of patent refuses to allow the restoration of patent, the patentee may request the Controller for an opportunity of being heard through a personal hearing.

In the event of an opposition being filed against the restoration of the said patent the Controller will notify the patentee of the same and provide the patentee an opportunity of being heard before passing an order. In the absence of opposition, the patent is ordered to be restored and the renewal fees including the additional fees must be paid within one month from the date of such order of the Controller. The decision of the Controller allowing the restoration will be published in the patents journal.

Restoration of a lapsed patent involves several decisions at the discretion of the Controller and the patentees should be cautious about patent renewal deadlines.