Overview of Indian Patent Search
The patent search is the first step any person takes before filing a patent application. A patent search is a process of browsing through the patent database to determine whether there are any similar patents to the invention/innovation of the applicant. This process is done to make sure that the applicant’s patent is unique and has a higher chance of getting a registration. Registration of a patent ensures that the patent holder has the ultimate right to use that innovation but if the application for the innovation or invention is similar to a pre-existing patent then the patent office shall reject the application.
What is InPASS?
In India, the patent search can be conducted through the Indian Patent Search System (InPASS). It was introduced in the year 2015 as a replacement for its predecessor called IPAIRS (Indian Patent Information Retrieval System. InPASS allows the user to conduct searches both via. Wild cards and Boolean operators. Currently, the InPASS is the most advanced database to conduct a patent search in India
Importance of Patent Search
- Saves time and money: A basic patent search can let the inventors know whether there are any similar products as compared to their innovation. They can do a patent search and proceed accordingly thereby saving their time and effort.
- Protects from infringement: when an organisation decides to pursue a project, it must ensure that its innovation is not infringing any pre-existing product whose patent has already been registered.
- Product Development: The patent search will enable a company to study the product design of its competitors. This research will result in them finding flaws/ gaps/ loopholes in the technology on which the company can capitalise.
- Cost and Validity: A Good patent search shall help the innovator determine the value and validity of a patent before they decide to sell or buy any patent.
- Invalid patents: After completing a patent search we can get information on patents that have expired or have become invalid, then these innovations can be used without the need to pay any royalty to the founder.
- Understanding Trends: Patent searches often reveal the latest trends in a particular technology this will help the innovator to develop products as per the demand of technology.
- Patent Portfolio: A thorough patent search will assist in learning about a company’s patent portfolio i.e. which all patent is owned by a particular company.
Documents for InPASS Patent Search
The InPASS Patent Search doesn’t require the user to upload any documents for browsing its database. It is easily accessible and free to use.
Procedure for Paten Search through InPASS
Follow the steps mentioned below to complete the patent search using InPASS
- Visit the InPASS Website: The patent researcher needs to log on to the InPASS website by going to ipindia.gov.in. This website keeps track of all the registered patents in India.
- Select the Criteria: Next, you will be required to select from the two criteria namely:
- Granted patents: this category consists of patents that have been granted a permit.
- Published applications: This category consists of patents whose applications have been published in a journal and are awaiting objections.
- You can search in both categories at the same time.
- Parameters for the search of patents: There are various parameters which the user can choose while searching for patents such as:
- Date of application (you can select a range)
- Title of the patent
- Claims against the patent
- Description of the patent
- Application number
- Patent number (for those to which permit has been granted)
- Name of the applicant
- Name of the Inventor
- Country of Inventor
- Address of Inventor
- Filing office
- International patent classification
- PCT application
- PCT publication number
- Field of Invention
- Keyword Search: The applicant must create a list of keywords that is relevant to their invention. The keyword search will enable the applicant to view all the patents where such a keyword has been used. The results will enlist all the patents that have used the keywords in the title, abstract, claims, description, name etc.
- Display Results: The Results shall be displayed in two columns. The first column (towards the left of the screen) shall display information such as the application number and date, patent number, title and status. Whenever the user makes a selection on the left column details such as specification, and abstract bibliographic data shall be displayed in a separate column towards the right. A user can browse through 1000 results and view a total of 25 results per page.
- Applicant Name Search: The InPASS website allows you to easily search for patents by using the name of the applicant. For this, the user can easily fill in the applicants' names in the search bar and press enter. Then the website shall display a detailed list of all the patents that have been published or granted to that applicant.
- Inventor Name Search: Inventor name search is also available on the InPASS portal. The process shall be similar to the applicant's name search. This will display the results based on the inventor's information.
- Patent E-Registration: the database will allow the electronic registration of patents. Whenever an applicant wants to check the status of his registration he can enter his Patent number in the E-register tab. The database will show crucial info. Pertaining to the patent like status, renewal date, description etc.
- Patent Application Status: InPASS also has the provision to check the status of the patent application filed by you or your agent. Under the application status tab, the user should type in his application number and click on the 'show application status' button. It will display the application number, date of filing, title etc along with the application status. This tab also lets the user see relevant documents that were attached to the patent application.
- Other Advisory: The applicant should also go through international patent search engines like the WIPO database. To have a broader approach to their patent search exercise.