Why? What? When? How? These are some of the most used words in John’s dictionary. He’s pretty curious about the workings behind what happens in his life, and many of those have to do with the inventions and the workings of intellectual property in the world around him.
Patenting is typically a long process with many steps, such as application, publication, examination, and the grant. Most of these steps are self-explanatory, but John and his friends recently had a discussion of what exactly it was that publication entailed. IP Geek is here with some answers.
Hi, IP Geek!
Let’s get straight to the point- me and my friends realized yesterday that while we’ve heard of patent publication, we don’t know exactly what it is or why it’s done. We also had some disagreements about which stage of the patenting process it happens in. Can you help us out a little?
Hi to you too, John!
Remember how we’ve discussed about patents being a grant of exclusive rights in return for compulsory disclosure to the public? The publication part of the patenting process is related to these disclosure elements.
At some point in the patenting process, which is by default after approximately 18 months of the filing of the first application, but can be earlier (if you make a request to the Patent Office), your patent will be published.
What this means is that an abstract of the invention, along with relevant details like the names of the applicants, patent application number and the title of the invention, will be published in the official gazette. You can then use this application number to search for more detailed documents.
Ah yes- I’ve seen the gazette publications before and they are pretty minimal. I was wondering how that could be a disclosure by itself.
Patent applications are typically very long and very detailed by design. Publishing all of it in the gazette would make things well- chaotic. It is not practical at all, to say the least.
So, these publications are pretty minimalistic. Abstracts allow people skilled in the art to identify components of interest or similarity. They can then use the application number in the Indian Patent Office website to view digital copies of all the filed documents. Once the publication is done, the patent can then be examined.
I know about patent examination- it’s when the patent office analyses the application to see if it fits the patentability criteria- novelty, inventive step, and relevant subject matter.
Yes. An examination (and therefore, the eventual grant) of the patent cannot be done until and unless the patent is published. Any subsequent documents issued or filed in the process of the patent being granted will also be uploaded to the website so that people can look at it.
Plus, any researcher and inventor can access these publicly available documents, and can incorporate them into their own research. They will need to file their own patents to protect any resulting advancements though.
Ah, so that’s how patent publication contributes to innovation. Thanks for the explanation, IP Geek.
Thank you for reading IP Conversations! We’d love to hear from you. 🙂
- Are you Interested in IP facts?
- Would you like to know more about how IP affects everyday lives?
- Have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover?
Comment below, or share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org