As I promised a couple of months ago (please, take that "couple" like something between 2 and 6), here it comes the second part of the previous entry “Two pieces of information that you should never overlook when performing a patent search”: the Indian Form 3.
Why is this document important? Because Indian law (Section 8 of the India Patents Act, 1970) requires from the applicant a constant duty of submitting to the Indian Patent Office the development of the patent family, i.e. all patents filed outside India that relate to the same invention as filed in India.
If the applicant fails in his duty to communicate this kind of information during prosecution or the information is not accurate, his patent could be challenged before court and invalidated. Therefore, the applicant and/or his representative are (or should be) very cautious in this regard.
This details regarding parallel prosecution must be provided in the so-called “Form 3”, which will be published and available for free on the Indian Patent Database.
How can you profit from this document? Espacet, WIPO, PatBase and other databases are usually very accurate regarding the information provided. But when it comes to more uncommon countries, is not very easy to find a really comprehensive and accurate list of the patent family. Therefore, if you have some interest on an Indian patent, this Form 3 could help you finding equivalents around the world or, if the information is not complete and the document does not represent the real status of that family, the patent could be easily invalidated.
How can I access the document? Following the next very easy steps!
Access the Indian Patent Search webpage, that is:
If what you have is a Grant number, go to the “Granted Patents” tab and once there, select “Patent number” by displaying the list on the left:
Enter the Patent Number on the blank field on the right and click on "Submit":
And here you have this great patent from Google, that you can access by clicking on the Patent number:
From the basic information screen, you can find the Form 3 by clicking on "View Documents" right at the bottom of the webpage:
And finally, the Form 3 (or Forms) will be listed as showed below:
By clicking on the desired document, a new tab or page will open with a pdf document that you will be able to save and/or print.
If what you have is an Application number, go to the “Application Status” tab and once there enter the application number in the very same manner as stated below on the screen.
This step is very important since this database the does not recognize the country initials (IN) or any zeroes at the beginning of the application number., i.e., while the application number could appear as IN03394DN2005, you should search for it in the following way:
And, of course, do not forget the catpcha to proof that you are a human life-form (even if you're not, give it a try :-) )
You will be redirected to the following screen:
From here, and after clicking on "View Documents", please follow the same steps referred above for the Granted Patents.
In this regard, and before finishing this entry, I should warn all readers and users of this how-to-do entry that the Submission under Article 8 of the Indian Patent Act is a continuing duty of disclosure during prosecution, therefore you can (and should!) find several Form 3s listed. Although the last should be the most up-to-date one, don't forget to give a look to the other ones. Maybe some interesting prosecution strategy can be grasped from the path followed by the Form 3s!