Provisional Patent

In India, safeguarding intellectual property through patents occurs when an individual registers a patent under the Indian Patent Act of 1970, referred to as the ‘Act.’ The act of obtaining a patent serves as a deterrent against unauthorized use of the invention by other individuals or entities. Patents can be acquired for either a design or a process, and the Act outlines two distinct categories of patent specifications.

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    Section 9 of the Act delineates patents into two categories:

    1. Provisional patent specification
    2. Complete patent specification

    A provisional patent serves as an initial measure, securing protection before the possibility of filing a comprehensive patent. The acquisition of a complete patent necessitates a detailed disclosure of the design and its specifications. Even when engaged in research and development without a fully developed design or process eligible for a patent, individuals may seek a provisional patent to safeguard their work.

    In comparison to a complete patent, a provisional patent has certain limitations, particularly concerning the duration of protection for the provisionally patented intellectual property. The primary rationale behind allowing provisional patents is to furnish security and interim protection to investors and inventors until they can pursue a complete patent.

    It is important to note that opting for a provisional patent is an elective step. If the inventor or investor can submit a complete patent application, it is always advisable to do so to minimize potential setbacks.

    What Details Does a Provisional Patent Include?

    The provisional patent encompasses the following information:

    1. Name/title of the invention/design/process
    2. Provisional specifications (Note: These specifications do not necessarily include a claims section)
    3. Description of the invention (Note: The description should be comprehensive and not limited)
    4. Field and objective of the invention

    How to Submit a Provisional Patent Application?

    To initiate a provisional patent application, a series of forms and documents must be submitted. The necessary documents for filing a provisional patent comprise:


    This form serves as an application for the grant of a patent. It should be signed and submitted within six months of the basic application filing. The form requires essential details such as the inventor’s name, type of invention, etc., and the applicant must sign at the form’s conclusion.


    This form includes provisional specifications. The heading ‘PROVISIONAL SPECIFICATION’ should be used, and the title and name of the applicant must be mentioned. Additionally, a description of the invention is required in this form.


    This form is used for corresponding to foreign patent applications, but it is only necessary if there is a foreign patent application.


    It serves as the declaration of inventorship.


    This form declares the power of attorney, authorizing the Patent Agent if the application is being filed through a patent agent. It should be submitted within six months of the application filing.


    This form is used to claim as a small entity, but it is only required if applicable. Additionally, the submission of drawings, illustrations, or designs of the invention is necessary (not required for a process). An e-filing fee is also applicable.

    Advantages of a Provisional Patent

    When considering the filing of a patent, various factors such as filing costs, the filing date, protection duration, and more must be considered. Consequently, opting for a provisional patent offers the following benefits:


    The provision for provisional patents, as stipulated in the Act, ensures that individuals lacking the financial capacity to file for a complete patent or engage a patent agent are provided with the time to do so. The filing cost for a provisional patent is significantly lower compared to that of a complete patent.

    Interim protection:

    Upon filing for a provisional patent and receiving approval, the filer enjoys protection for a period of 12 months from the initial filing date. This allows them to enhance their invention during this time or undertake any necessary actions before pursuing a complete patent.

    Patent filing date:

    In the patent filing process, the filing date holds considerable significance. For instance, in cases of two similar applications, priority is granted to the application with the earlier filing date over the one with a later filing date. Therefore, when an individual holds a provisional patent and subsequently files for a complete patent, the filing date considered is that of the provisional patent.


    Upon obtaining a provisional patent, inventors or investors have the privilege of using the ‘Patent Pending’ tag as they explore the commercial potential of their new design or process.


    If an individual with a provisional patent decides to forgo the pursuit of a complete patent, they can do so without concerns about the overall cost of the process.

    In India, safeguarding intellectual property involves registering patents under the 1970 Indian Patent Act, with Sadique and Ameen Associates offering crucial assistance. Provisional patents act as an initial safeguard, allowing inventors interim protection before filing a comprehensive patent. This approach is cost-effective, providing a 12-month protection period, establishing a vital filing date, and permitting ‘Patent Pending’ use. Despite its advantages, opting for a provisional patent is optional, and submitting a complete patent application is recommended to mitigate potential setbacks.