India: International Patent Application Filing Strategies For Maximizing The Value Of Patents

Last Updated: 10 September 2013
Article by Mrinalini Gupta

Most Read Contributor in India, September 2016


The cost of obtaining a patent and thereby protecting the invention in number of countries is not only expensive but a complicated task. Many a times the applicant finds himself in the hailstorm of unfathomable timing deadlines. Getting an international patent protection for an invention can impose financial burden on small and medium enterprises or entrepreneurial undertakings. Various modes/strategies can be used for filing an application for the grant of patent simultaneously in various countries.

The process of obtaining a National Patent Protection involves drafting of the application along with the complete description and claims, filling of the application, prosecution and hearing in case of opposition/infringement and finally timely payment of the renewal fee for the maintenance of the granted patent. To be precise, everything comes at a cost.

The expenditure on obtaining a patent in a single country is itself so huge than a strategy that minimizes or delays the expenses is valuable. Delaying the cost provides an additional opportunity to the patent applicant to assess and evaluate the possibility of success of the patented product or process overseas, its commercial demand, freedom-to-operate the patented product or process and more importantly the applicant is able to calculate in the due time the probability of obtaining protection in a particular foreign country. This saves the applicant from the undue expenses of filing the patent application in foreign countries where there are chances of facing rejection of the application or of the patented product or process.

Therefore, any strategy that provides enough time to the patent owner to strategically evaluate the overall potential value and demand of the invention in other foreign countries while preserving the first filing date (priority date) is looked as a welcome step.

Filing Strategies

To obtain an international patent protection on an invention, any of the following three strategies can be used.

  1. Separate Applications: This is the most expensive approach and involves filing of separate patent applications in the national patent office of each country where the applicant is keen on seeking protection for its invention. In this approach, the separate applications are usually filed on the same day of filing of the initial application in the parent country. The drawback of this system is that the applicant does not get additional time to assess and evaluate the possibility of success of the invention overseas and filing fees for each of the countries in which the protection is sought begins to accrue as soon as the application is filed.
  2. Convention application : The second approach entails filing of a patent application claiming a priority date based on the same or substantially similar application filed in one or more of the convention countries. Such an international patent application is known as convention application and is filed in accordance with the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. This approach requires filing of application for patent firstly in a single Paris Convention member country to establish the first filing date or priority date for the application. The application can then be delayed for up to twelve months before filing in other Convention countries so that the applicant gets a year's time from the first filing date or priority date to delay the costs related to obtaining international patent protection.
  3. PCT International Application: The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international agreement for filing patent applications in which the applicant has an option to file a single international patent application in one language with one receiving patent office in order to simultaneously seek protection for an invention in up to 148 countries throughout the world.

Other than being the least expensive of the three approaches, an international application filed using PCT confers up to thirty months time, from the priority date or international filing date whichever is earlier, to enter the National Offices of various member countries. Further, this is also an economical procedure that allows the inventor/applicant all additional time to assess the commercial viability of the invention. This delay is significantly advantageous for applicants in taking strategic decisions about the countries in which patent protection can be pursued.

To be unambiguous, the PCT application does not provide for the grant of an international patent, it simply provides a streamlined process for filing of patent applications simultaneously in many countries while preserving the priority date of that application.

Further, PCT route provides an International Search Report (ISR) that is very valuable to the applicant. The ISR gives the applicant a fair idea about the probability of obtaining protection of the invention through patent before incurring charges for filing and prosecution in individual countries.


Though it is true that a patent confers on the patent owner, the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing the invention defined in the claims of the patent and these exclusive rights act as an incentive, however, protecting an invention in a number of countries means an extra financial burden on the inventor/applicant. The applicant needs to balance the cost incurred in obtaining the international protection through patents and the profits earned thereafter so that the protection becomes a commercial asset and not a financial burden.

Therefore, any strategy that delays the entry of the international patent application in national/regional offices of foreign countries, where applicant is keen on seeking protection for its invention, is significantly advantageous out of the three strategies discussed above, seeking international protection through PCT international application is most profitable in the sense of money and time both!

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.