A Manual for Making Your Way to an AI Patent in India

The world of artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding rapidly, so beginning the patent path in India feels like an exciting adventure. A recent joint report by NASSCOM and India AI emphasizes how India is rapidly becoming an AI innovation hotspot. This trend was very prominently visible at Start up Mahakumbh at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi, from March 18 to 20, 2024. The event showcased numerous AI startups and their cutting-edge technologies, demonstrating the immense potential of the Indian AI ecosystem.

According to NASSCOM's joint report, the number of artificial intelligence patents registered in India has exceeded 5,000 in the last decade, with an astounding 94% of those patents filed in the last five years alone. Out of all the AI patents submitted in India, 93% are related to machine learning, making it the most prominent technology.

Two of the most important sectors are healthcare, consumer electronics, and personal computing devices. For a robust AI-ready future, it is crucial to support local AI innovators, as 63% of patents awarded go to multinational corporations (MNCs). The purpose of this write-up is to motivate and assist individual AI talents so that they can continue to be innovative leaders.
Considering the dynamic nature of AI innovation, let's examine the steps involved in filing for a patent in India.

1. Novelty and Inventive Step: Make sure your idea is both unique and hasn't been used or disclosed anywhere else on the globe previously.

2. Prior Art Search: Conduct a thorough search to ensure that your invention is not already patented or published, both in India and internationally. This step is crucial to determining the novelty and inventiveness of your idea before proceeding with the patent application process.

3. Drafting the Patent Application: Once you have confirmed the uniqueness of your invention, prepare a detailed description and claims that clearly define the scope of your patent.

4. Filing the Application: Submit your patent application to the Indian Patent Office along with all required documents and fees to officially begin the examination process. You can file the application online or visit any of the branches of the Indian Patent Office, whichever is more convenient for you.

5. Examination Process: The Indian Patent Office will review your application to ensure it meets all legal requirements and conduct a thorough examination of the novelty and inventiveness of your invention. If any questions arise during this period, make sure to answer them quickly.

6. Publication: Your patent application will be published in the official journal once the Indian Patent Office is pleased with the examination. This will allow the public to examine it. A period is available after the patent is published for third parties to raise objections to its award. If necessary, address any objections that have been lodged.

7. Grant of Patent: The IPO will award the patent if all objections have been satisfactorily handled. You will be granted a patent that gives you exclusive rights to your invention for a specified period. Keeping your patent up-to-date and valid for its full 20-year lifetime (usually starting from the date of application) requires regular maintenance and renewal.

There is a tremendous opportunity for inventors to navigate this process. Einfolge has a dedicated team of experts to assist you in not only getting a patent grant but also in managing the maintenance and renewal process to ensure your patent remains valid and enforceable throughout its lifetime. Our team can help you navigate any objections that may arise during the application process, providing you with peace of mind and allowing you to focus on further developing your invention.

Important facts to keep in mind

Patent Approval Process and Timelines: The Indian Patent Office (IPO) has been making great strides in recent years to streamline and quicken patent exams; it is responsible for overseeing the patent approval process in India. It is critical for innovators to grasp the usual timescales and the factors that influence them as they begin this journey. It usually takes three to five years, or sometimes more, for a patent to be granted in India. This timeline might change depending on several things, so keep that in mind.

Causes of Delays in Approval Processes: First, the type of patent—whether it's a utility, design, or any other kind of patent can greatly affect how long it takes to get approved. A more thorough investigation may be required for more intricate inventions, which could lengthen the process.

Advanced Choice: Like the Track One program in the US, India also provides advanced choice examinations. To expedite the approval process, innovators might pay a premium to have their applications reviewed more quickly.

Backlog and Workload: The quantity of pending applications and the overall workload of the IPO have a significant impact on the time it takes to approve patent applications. Processing times could be longer if the workload is higher.

Technological Domain: The technological domain to which the patent belongs may have an impact on the processing times. Different industries may have different approval times due to the high volume of applications in those areas.

Changes to the procedures: The approval process is susceptible to changes to patent laws, regulations, and legislation. A thorough comprehension of the patenting process requires keeping abreast of any changes to the regulatory environment.

1. Indian innovators must be strategic in their approach as the country raises its global innovation profile.
2. While the IPO's attempts to streamline procedures are commendable, it is essential to be aware of the many approval timing snags.
3. Mastering the ever-changing patent rules, collaborating with experts, and combining smart methods are the keys to success in India's developing patent market.
4. Together, we can ensure a seamless and prosperous patent journey in India, from filing to approval.