There are so many questions you may be having regarding patents in India. For example,
where and how you can find patents in India,
is there any database or search engine dedicated to Indian Patents,
is it free,
how can you check who owns a patent for a particular product,
has the patent expired,
what is the status of your application,
what is the status of your competitors’ patent applications,
the list of patent applications filed by your competitor,
where can you read inventions on a weekly basis to enhance your knowledge,
where can you find patents mentioned in your favorite TV shows such as Shark Tank India, etc?
We will answer each of your answers and much more. So, sit relaxed, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s unroll.
Starting with the first question:
Indian patents and applications can be searched in inPASS at https://ipindiaservices.gov.in/publicsearch. inPass (Indian Patent Advanced Search System) has the facility to use search fields: text, date, name, address, number, office, IPC; logical operators: AND, OR, NOT; wildcards: [*], [“”], [+], [-], [~] with a dropdown assist.
inPASS replaced IPAIRS (Indian Patent Information Retrieval System) in February 2015 as an advanced search tool for Indian patent documents providing many rich features.
inPass Patent Search (result in list format)
This feature on the home page is rich in features and provides advanced functionality in a user-friendly manner.
As you are aware, every patent application is published if it is not withdrawn or if any secrecy direction is not imposed. Thus, we have a publication number for an application. Another publication happens when the application is granted a patent. This time, we get a patent number.
On the search page, inPASS provides two options to choose from for publication type:
If you choose, option 1, you will get patent applications in the results and if you choose option 2, you will get granted patents including related applications in the results.
After selecting either option, you have a drop-down menu of multiple search fields and logical operators to form an advanced query. In addition, in the input fields, you can use wildcard operators and truncation.
Search fields include:
- Date (application date(national), publication date, date of grant, priority date)
- Number (application number, patent number, publication number, PCT publication number, PCT application number)
- Name (applicant name, inventor name)
- Country (applicant country, inventor country)
- Address (applicant address, inventor address)
- International Patent Classification
- Text-Based Search (title, abstract, complete specification)
- Filing Office (DEL for Delhi, MUM for Mumbai, CHE for Chennai, KOL for Kolkata as Indian Patent Office has 4 branches at these 4 locations)
The logical operators
used by this search engine are: ‘AND,’ ‘OR,’ and ‘NOT’.
Using these in various combinations, you can search for documents made available by the Indian Patent Office.
- AND: This operator retrieves results if all the conditions joined by AND with are true.
- For e.g., Civil AND Engineering: returns results that have both terms ‘Civil’ and ‘Engineering’
- OR: This operator retrieves results if any of the conditions joined by OR with is true
- For e.g., Civil OR Engineering: returns results that have either ‘Civil’ or ‘Engineering’ or both
- NOT: This operator retrieves results if the condition is not true
- For e.g., Civil NOT Engineering: returns results that have ‘Civil’ but not ‘Engineering’
When it comes to wildcard operators, INPASS does provide rich functionality. For example,
|Search Operators||Syntax and Examples|
|*||The Asterisk sign represents zero or multiple |
1. civil* finds phrases that begin with “civil”
2. *civil finds phrases that end with “civil”
3. *civil* finds phrases that have “civil” in any
4. *civil*civil finds phrases that “civil” in any
position and “civil” in the end
5. civil*engineering finds phrases that begin
with “civil” and end with “engineering”
6. civil*engineering* finds phrases that begin
with “civil” and have “engineering” in any
|~||The Tilde sign represents a single character. |
However, upon checking, it doesn’t seem
|+||The Plus sign looks for a document that |
has the word.
For e.g., in the title input field
+bluetooth+wireless will retrieve
documents that have both Bluetooth
and wireless in the title of the documents
|–||The Minus sign omits the word in |
For e.g., in the abstract input field
+bluetooth-wireless will give patent
documents that have Bluetooth but
not wireless in their abstract.
will give documents that have Bluetooth
and mobile but not computer.
|“ ”||The Quotation Marks give documents that |
have the specific phrase or words in
For e.g., “solar panel” will give those
documents that have both words solar
If you observe the example above, we can summarize the search inputs below:
(Date range) AND (Bluetooth in the title) AND (low energy in the abstract) NOT (wifi in the abstract)
It means the documents retrieved should have an application date (national) between 02/01/2010 and 12/31/2022, “Bluetooth” in their title, and “low energy” in their abstract; they should not have “Wifi” in their abstract.
Upon running the query in image 2, we get 52 results as in the following image. Display of results is a list form comprising application number(hyperlink), title, application date, status, and Application Status (Hyperlink).
You can observe the keyword “Bluetooth” highlighted in the title of the results below.
If you further click on one of the application number hyperlinks (we have blacked out them) in image 3, you get a page having various details about the application. For example, let’s see this page for 3285/CHENP/2008, then we get the following page:
On the page in above image 4, you have information about
Application Filing Date,
Field of Invention,
Inventors (Name, Address, Country, Nationality),
Applicant(Name, Address, Country, Nationality),
Complete Specification and
a hyperlink “View Application Status.”
Upon clicking “View Application Status” in image 4 above or “application status” in image 3, we get the following page as shown in image 5:
Application Status image page has
Application Type (PCT National PHASE application in this case),
Date of Filing,
Title of the Invention,
Field of Invention,
Email (As Per Record),
Additional Email (As Per Record),
Email (Updated Online),
Request For Examination Date,
Publication Date (U/S 11A),
Application Status (Abandoned U/s 21(1) in this case),
“View Examination Report(s)” (hyperlink button)
“View Documents” (hyperlink button), and
Timeline chart at the bottom.
Further, if you click on the button “View documents”, you come across the page similar to that of image 6 below:
From the image above, you can check out documents related to the application.
Patent E-register (search by number)
You can access Indian Patent Office’s E-register through this tab. All you have to do is to type patent number and you will know everything that is registered about it.
Upon entering the patent number and clicking on Show E-Register, we get the following page:
In the patent E-register, we get to know the Legal Status (Ceased in this case) along with the date of cessation (09/02/2010 in this case). Other than status, we can also get other information such as
Type of Application,
Parent Application Number (if any- it is used in case of patent of addition applications),
PCT International Application Number,
Date of Patent,
Date of Grant,
Date of Recordal,
PCT International Filing Date,
Name and Address of Grantee,
Name and Address of Patentee,
Address of Service,
Additional Address of Service,
Renewal or Maintenance Details,
Information u/s146 (working of patent), and
Option to view documents (hyperlink).
Application Status (search status by number)
Under this tab, we can directly enter patent application number and find its current status.
For example, upon entering 9894/DELNP/2007, we get the following page (image 10) showing the status of this application as:
The status of the application searched is “Abandoned U/s 21(1)” and the timeline shows that the application is disposed of.
We have already covered the topic of status in previous section.
Since we are looking at patent E-register, and application status, it is also important to know about the patent journal. It is published by Indian Patent Office and can be accessed at Link
Its full name is Patent and Design Journal and is published every week on Friday. Its front page looks like as shown in the image below:
If you go to the link provided by us and open one of the journals, you will find that only bibliographic data and abstract are published and not the complete specification. However, you should know that once the application is published in the Patent Journal, the rest of the application data can be accessed via inPASS as we have seen in previous sections.
If you are an innovator, researcher, or curious person then the Patent Journal is a great document to see what new developments are happening and what knowledge you can extract for your interest.
Publication of a patent application serves at least three following purposes among others:
- The knowledge contained in an invention becomes public for further research and development to make a knowledge-based society.
- The damage of infringement is calculated from the date of publication because, before publication, no one knows about the invention and thus can’t infringe knowingly.
- After publication, people become aware of an invention and thus, can file pre-grant opposition.
Design Patent Search in India
It is important for you to know that designs are not granted patents in India. Instead, they are registered. So, we file an application for design registration and can check its status at Link
If you don’t know the application number then it also provides the facility to search by Cheque/ Draft number or search by CBR (Cash book record).
The registry is maintained by the Design office, Kolkata.
Google Patent Search
So far, we were looking at how to search for Indian patent documents. However, if you have to search for international patent documents then Google Patents is one of the best available search engines for free of cost.
Therefore, it is always handy to know how to use Google patents to your advantage. Keeping this in mind, we have written a comprehensive guide to use the same.