Understanding the cost structure corresponding to applying for a patent can help in making some important decisions. Hence, instead of having a generic idea about the overall cost, it helps if you are aware of the breakdown of the cost structure and the time of incurring such expenses.
The overall cost of obtaining a patent includes the fee that has to be paid to the patent office (statutory fee) and the fee paid to the patent service provider (professional fee). The professional fee varies based on the service provider you may select. Hence, in this article I will deal only with the statutory fee. However, note that the professional fee is generally substantially higher than the statutory fee.
The statutory fee depends on who the applicant of the patent is. The Indian Patent Office (IPO) has categorized the applicants into 2 categories:
1. Natural person
2. Other than natural person
Any individual(s) applying for a patent is considered as a natural person. On the other hand, all other entities that do not fall under the first category, naturally fall under the second category.
For example, legal entities, such as, companies would fall under the second category. It shall be noted that, a patent application can have more than one applicant, and even if one of the applicants do not fall under the first category, then the patent application is considered to have been filed by the second category applicants.
The patent office collects 4 times the fee from the second category applicants as compared to first category applicants.
In this article, I will list down the fee applicable to the first category applicants. You may simple multiply this fee with 4 to determine the fee applicable to second category applicants.
Sl. No. 1
A fee of INR 1000 has to be paid while submitting the patent application in the IPO.
Sl. No. 2
A fee of INR 2500 has to be paid if you wish to have your patent application published by the IPO early. If this request is not made, then the IPO publishes your patent application after 18 months from priority date (date on which you first file a patent application for your invention).
There are several advantages of having a patent application published early. Some of the advantages are: early publication can help in expediting the patent application examination process and the patent rights start from the date of publication.
Sl. No. 3
A fee of INR 2500 has to be paid, requesting the IPO to examine your patent application. This fee can be paid within 48 months from the priority date. However, note that the patent office puts your application in queue for examination only after receiving this fee. Hence, if you want to expedite the patent process, it is advisable to pay this fee at the earliest.
Sl. No. 4
The IPO accepts patent specification, which has up to 30 sheets without charging any extra fee. However, if the specification crosses 30 sheets, then a fee of INR 100/sheet for each extra sheet has to be paid to the IPO.
Sl. No. 5
Further, the IPO accepts patent specification, which has up to 10 claims (no limitation on independent claims) without charging any extra fee. However, if the specification has more than 10 claims, then a fee of INR 200/Claim for each extra claim has to be paid to the IPO.
Sl. No. 6
A fee of INR 500 has to be paid to the IPO if you wish to make changes to your patent specification after filing the patent application and before a patent is granted. Generally, changes are made to the specification after the IPO examines your patent application and issues an examination report. In light of the examination report, the applicant may sometimes make changes to the patent specification. When such changes are made to the patent specification, a fee of INR 500 has to be paid to the IPO.
Also, note that after a patent is granted, the patentee will have a pay a patent maintenance fee every year to the patent office.
[Guest article by Kartik Puttaiah, cofounder of InvnTree IP Services, a Bangalore based patent services company.]