ARTICLE
19 September 2023

Should I First Publish Or Patent My Research Work?

AL
Accures Legal

Contributor

ACURES LEGAL is an intellectual property, corporate and commercial practice. The firm is established by a group of IP professionals and corporate lawyers with an average experience of over a decade. We assist clients in all fields of intellectual property including patents, trademarks, copyright, designs, plant variety protection, geographical indications – from its development to its monetization. We have rich experience in providing corporate and commercial advisory on commercial contracts, corporate transactional matters, in-bound investments, incorporation of companies, their maintenance and statutory compliances and mergers and acquisition.
In a world full of innovative and competitive ideas, every innovator seeks to stay ahead in the competition, therefore, want their research work to come in public domain as soon as it is developed.
India Intellectual Property
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Introduction:

In a world full of innovative and competitive ideas, every innovator seeks to stay ahead in the competition, therefore, want their research work to come in public domain as soon as it is developed. But the real question is – should they go ahead for paper publication first or patent filing? Does publishing the work beforehand have any effect on the grant of a patent?

The Assumption:

Usually, these conditions are shredded with confusion and some researchers must pay more attention to it. A common mistake that some researchers make is by assuming that paper publication of their research work will have no negative bearing on securing a patent because it is their invention and they can choose to file a patent application after the paper publication. This assumption is untrue because “novelty” is the first patentability criteria checked for granting a patent (apart from inventive step and industrial applicability).

Simply put, “novelty” means that the invention was not know to the public before the date of filing of the patent application. The Prior Art should not be patented again (WIPO), even if such prior art belongs to the inventor who has filed the patent application. Therefore, public disclosure of the invention in a research paper prior to filing a patent application will destroy the “novelty” of your invention', which will be a reason for the rejection of the patent.

Synchronizing Patent and Publishing:

An inventor can publish his/her research work any time after the filing the patent application. It can be as soon as the next day of such filing. This yields no scratch on the glass of novelty of the invention. The disclosure of the invention made after the filing date of your patent doesn't hinder the patent grant. If the researcher has already published the research paper, she cannot file for a patent for that innovation unless there is a technical improvement, which was not disclosed in the previously published research paper.

Conclusion:

The delicate art of balancing the need to share the invention with the world and protecting the rights of an inventor requires great precision. The flourishing tech and pharma giants like Google, Glenmark, Microsoft and many more have excelled in this art of protecting patents and giving groundbreaking research papers on developing innovations. Inventors must understand that premature decision to publish their research work can deprive them of their rightful claim of Intellectual Property. This knowledge is imperative in this world hungry for progress.

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.

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