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How to Check if an Idea is Already Patented?


Last Updated on October 13, 2022 by Kanakkupillai

How to Check if an Idea is Already Patented?

For the benefit of readers who might be interested, we go over the steps to take to determine whether a concept has already been patented in this blog.

What is a patent?

When you have a brilliant idea, you want to tell everyone about it. You want to materialize that concept and get income from it. However, if no one else has previously done it, you must patent it before someone else takes it and makes it their own.

A patent is a legal privilege attached to an invention that the government grants to the patentee for a set amount of time in exchange for full disclosure of his invention and the prohibition of others from manufacturing, using, selling, or importing the patented product or process for those purposes without his consent.

What is the term of a patent in the Indian system?

Every awarded patent has a 20-year term starting on the application’s filing date. The term of the patent, however, will be 20 years from the international filing date recognized under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for applications submitted under the national phase of the PCT.

Which Act governs the patent system in India?

The Patents Act, 1970 (No. 39 of 1970), as revised by Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005, and  Patents Rules, 2003, control the patent system. The most recent change to the Patent Rules was made in 2016, in accordance with how the environment is developing.

Does Indian patent give protection worldwide?

No, as patent protection is a territorial right, it only applies to India’s territory. The idea of a global patent does not exist.

Where can one find the information relating to published/granted patent application?

The Patent Office Journal, which is published every Friday, contains information on patent applications. This is also accessible online at, the website of the Patent Office.

Is there provision for filing patent application electronically by online system?

The full online filing system at allows users to submit patent applications. The Patent Office’s website,, has more details on how to submit an application online.

How can one register for online filing of patent application?

The user must get a Class II or III digital signature for the filing of a patent application. After receiving the digital signature, the user can register on the CGPDTM website by creating a user ID and password.

How to obtain digital signature?

The certifying authorities that have been appointed by the Controller of Certifying Authorities of India and have been connected with the Patent Office’s electronic filing system can provide digital signatures. On the website of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks is a list of such CAs (

What happens to a patent application once it is examined?

Following the examination, the Patent Office sends the applicant an examination report known as the First Examination Report (FER). After that, the applicant has six months from the date of the FER, which can be extended by three months, to comply with the conditions.

If the application is approved for grant and no pregrant opposition has been lodged or is pending, the patent is issued. The applicant receives a letter patent. However, if a presumptive opposition is still unresolved, further action is taken following the opposition’s resolution.

You can check to see if your idea was patented via a three-step process:

Ways to know if ideas are patented

The key to patenting your idea is figuring out whether it differs enough from existing products on the market to merit a patent. You can start by conducting a preliminary patent search on your own. Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to determine whether a concept has already been patented.

Is it possible to patent ideas?

Patents cannot be issued on their own. Patents may be issued for inventions that demonstrate an inventive step, do not fall under the legal category of inventions that are not patentable, and may be applied to a commercial environment. According to the decision in Hickton’s Patent Syndicate vs. Patents & Machine Improvements, if a concept is new and practical, it is protected by a patent.

The Patents Act of 1970 makes no explicit reference to whether or not ideas can be patented. Since both invention and ideas originate from and are developed from concepts, they are quite similar. Therefore, an idea that is useful, distinct, novel, not evident to qualified experts, and has industrial value may be patented under the Patents Act of 1970.

Because they are neither new to the area nor the inventor’s original or distinctive works, such innovations or creations cannot be patented. For a patent to be issued, new items and technological advancements must be original.

Search system for Indian patents

A brand-new platform called InPASS, which went live on February 27, 2015, allows users to search for Indian patents immediately. Prior to InPASS, IPAIRS [Indian Patent Information Retrieval System] was used to do patent searches in India. Since InPASS is an update of IPAIRS, you can search the entire text of all Indian patents and patent applications. In addition, InPASS permits the use of Boolean operators and wildcards in patent searches.

InPASS, the database of the Indian Patent Office, is used to carry out an advanced patent search in India.

It is crucial to carry out a patent search before submitting a patent application.

Step-by-step process to check patents

How can you find out the status of patent applications made in India? This question has a fairly straightforward solution.

Step 1: To use the patent search system/database, go to

Step 2: During the patent application process, you must fill out the “application number” field. By clicking the search option at the bottom of the page, you may examine the application number, title, date, and status.

Step 3:  By selecting the “application number” hyperlink, the application can be viewed. When you click on this button, a page with the application’s details will load. The applicant, inventors, and application specifications will all be visible.

Step 4: By selecting the option at the bottom of the page, you may monitor the status of your application. As a consequence, a new window will open up with information about the application and its current status.

You don’t have to follow all of the instructions above in order to verify the status of your patent application. A tab labeled “Application Status” is located above the “Patent Search” and “Patent E-Registration” tabs at the top of the search page.

After inputting the application number and captcha code into each field, click “Show Status.” The application data and application status will be displayed in a new window or page.

The “Patent E-register” tab makes it exceptionally simple to look for awarded patent applications. Enter the patent number and captcha code in each field, then click “Show E-Registration” to register for an e-registration.

This technique will be used to recover the costs related to the grant and renewal of a patent. This tool allows you to check whether a patent is still in effect, has been extended, or has passed its expiration date. You may also discover the expiration date and renewal due date for patents that are currently in force.

Regularly checking on the status of your patent application is a smart idea. Applicants can contact the patent office or their patent agent right away if any discrepanciesare found. They can routinely monitor and check the status of their patent applications by doing this.

Does the patent have an active status?

Once your patent has been authorized, you must ensure that it is still in effect and hasn’t been abandoned or expired. More than 8 million patents have been granted, although many of them have expired or been abandoned.

The owner of a patent must continue to pay fees in order for it to be used. In the absence of maintenance costs, patents will be abandoned. Through the Public PAIR system, it is simple to determine whether a patent has been abandoned. In Public PAIR, expired patents won’t be displayed.

Patents that were submitted on or after June 8, 1995 are referred to as “new patents.” For these more recent patents, there is a 20-year time limit beginning on the day the patent was filed.

A patent calculator can be used to figure out when a patent that is currently active will expire. However, if you want to find the patent’s earliest effective filing date, a patent calculator won’t be much use.

Patent Calculators do not take into account Terminal Disclaimers or Patent Term Adjustments. Terminal disclaimers, which are frequently found on the front of patents, shorten a patent’s life by linking its expiration date to that of another patent.

The four types of patent search

Patent searches necessitate a deep dive into scientific publications, patent databases, and other pertinent materials. However, if you are aware of the type of search you require, you can minimize your job.

You can do four different kinds of patent searches, and each one has a distinct goal.

  • Novelty search — By looking for prior patent art, novelty searches determine whether your invention is patentable. Both patented innovations and unpatented concepts that the patent office rejected can be considered works of art.
  • State-of-the-Art search — If the development of a particular industry is what your proposal would do, you must do a cutting-edge search.
  • Infringement search—If you are sued for infringement, you just need to complete one of these.
  • Validity search — This search will demonstrate the validity of an existing patent claim.

If you need assistance deciding which kind of patent search you require, you can hire an expert to search the databases on your behalf.

Can you patent something that already exists?

If your invention substantially improves on an existing design or function, you may be able to patent it. This means that your proposal must be absolutely original and neither previously published nor immediately obvious.

This is because there are three different kinds of patents that the patent office issues:

  • Utility New or enhanced practical concepts and tools
  • Design—The innovation’s look and design
  • Plant—variations created by humans

Therefore, even if your patent search turns up a similar product, you can still patent your invention. Simply make sure that your suggestion provides a novel application for a tool, machine, or chemical that has never been thought of before.

Please be aware that these specifications apply to all patent applications, not only revisions to items that have already been on the market.

Can ideas be patented?

It is impossible to patent a concept by itself. However, an idea can be protected by a patent if it is transformed into an invention that is novel, requires an inventive step, does not come under the legal definition of something that cannot be protected by a patent, and is suitable for industrial use.

The Patents Act of 1970 makes no explicit reference to whether or not ideas can be patented. Since every invention or technological process originates from an inventor’s idea, the line between an idea and an invention is incredibly thin.

Therefore, an idea that can be implemented physically, is original, novel, not evident to knowledgeable professionals, and has industrial utility may be patentable under the Patents Act of 1970.

Therefore, it is evident that an existing innovation or creativity cannot be patented because it was not created by the individual claiming to file the invention and is neither new nor their original or original work. An essential requirement for patenting a novel product or technological technique is the invention’s uniqueness.

Prior art search

A “prior art search” is carried out to stop identical or pre-existing inventions from being patented. It is carried out when an innovation is still in its early stages or when an idea is being developed. A prior art search is necessary before submitting a patent application. A previous art search is not required for inventors. A prior art search is, nevertheless, often advised before submitting a patent application. It refers to identifying any comparable information about a specific concept that is in the public domain.

A patent search’s primary objectives are to provide judgments on an invention’s novelty or uniqueness, inventive step, and industrial applicability. A description of the claimed invention and any associated technological advancements, as well as a list of claims showing the level of patent protection sought by the applicant, are some examples of the information that may be requested.

Such information must be made public by patent holders in order to stop repetitive inventions and for the continued advancement of technology. Prior art searches can avoid wasting a lot of resources—including time, money, and talent—on developing and investigating already-existing ideas.

Any relevant prior art that is discovered during a prior art search or during a patentability search, regardless of whether it is current or dates back to historical information, is still the subject of an anticipatory document and must be novelty hit.

Patent information can be searched by using:

– Multiple search tools and databases to conduct prior art search
– A wide variety of keywords for the search
– Become familiar with International Patent classification systems
– Dates including application date, publication date, priority date, grant date, and so on
– Patent reference or identification numbers are helpful in the search
– Names of applicants or assignees

Benefits of prior art searching

The following are the benefits of prior art searching:

  1. In order to determine if an invention is patentable, a prior art search is first helpful.
    2.One can determine the extent of patent protection by doing a prior art search. The extent of the applicant’s idea’s protection would be constrained if the previous art search turns up any works that are comparable to it.
    3. The search engine aids in revealing the inventions that are most comparable. The invention can therefore benefit from originality.
    4. The search results give the researcher or innovator the ability to budget time, expertise, and resources for the research or concept.
    5. A patent search establishes the groundwork for the entire patent procedure and prevents needless time and financial investments in an idea or product.
    6. Areas that are patentable despite the existence of previous art can be highlighted in the patent application if it is close to the innovation.
    7. The value of an inventor’s concept after patenting is determined by the patent search.
    8. It is an economical way to learn about patents.
    9. It supports the exploration of previously unpatentable areas and fosters innovation that benefits society.

Enablement requirements for patents in India

An invention by the applicant must be new, nonobvious, and capable of being produced or employed in industry in order to be granted a patent. In addition to these fundamental conditions, an invention must not violate the nonpatentable subject matter standards outlined in Sections 3, 4, and 5 of the Patents Act of 1970 (the “Act”). However, even after meeting these requirements, the inventor/applicant still needs to meet a further need, namely “enablement.”

In essence, the requirement of enablement is a requirement that, in order for a patent to be issued, the inventor/applicant must sufficiently detail their idea so that those with the necessary technical knowledge can create, utilize, and comprehend the invention.

The “best mode” need is a concept that is connected to the enabling requirement. Here, it is intended that the inventor must state, at the time of application, what, in his or her or the maker’s judgment, is the most desirable method of carrying out the invention. The best mode criterion checks to see if the inventor has developed any particular tools or methods, in which case they must be revealed as the best means of carrying out the invention at the time of application.

The enablement need and the best mode requirement are not the same, despite appearing to be the same. The best mode criterion is a subjective and factual examination that is relevant to the inventor’s state of mind. The enablement requirement concerns the objective knowledge of a person with ordinary skill in the art.

The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS”) agreement’s Article 29(1) mandates that signatory nations include a clause requiring patent applicants to provide information so that a person with ordinary skill in the art can use the invention. Additionally, Article 29(1) stipulates that nations may opt to include a legal provision requiring the disclosure of the optimal manner.

In India, however, Section 64(1)(h) of the Act states that if a patent has already been awarded for an invention, it may be canceled on the grounds that the whole specification does not reveal the best way of putting the invention into practice that was known to the patent applicant.

Thus, it is clear that the IPAB has given the applicants some leeway notwithstanding the statutory requirements for disclosure of the optimal mode and fulfilment of the enablement requirement.

Who is the competent authority in India to grant patent approval for an idea?

The competent authority to grant approval for an idea to be patented in India is the “Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.”

You should submit a patent application in order to safeguard your brilliant concept, which you hope will transform the world. You must ascertain whether another person has already patented your concept before applying to patent it. As an alternative, you can submit a patent application to gain privacy rights and protection for your invention from infringement. Based on our discussion thus far, we anticipate that our interested readers will have a basic understanding of how to patent an idea in our country after reading this blog.


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