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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

U.S. or India: Where to File for a Patent First?

Bindu Sharma
Founder & CEO-Origiin IP Solutions LLP
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
 Bindu Sharma
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) often is one of the favorite or lucrative destinations for the applicants for filing a patent application for various reasons, the prime reason being that usually the target as well as potential market of the invented product or process is U.S. Another major reason for interest in filing in U.S. is that U.S. patent laws permit broader spectrum of software patents compared to Indian Patent Law which says that software per se is not patentable till it has technical application. For all these reasons, at the time of filing for a patent, the biggest dilemma an inventor has is where to file for a patent first, in India or U.S.?

In this article, we will explore the advantages of filing in India first and consequences of filing in U.S. first if the inventor is a resident of India.
Filing in India first makes sense (U/S 39)
Before taking a decision on where to file first, it is essential to understand what does Indian Patent Law say about foreign filing. The issue is sensitive as well as critical and lack of expert legal advice on the same may have fatal consequences.
Accordingly to Section 39 (Residents not to apply for patents outside India without prior permission) of the Patents Act 1970, a person who is resident in India shall not make application for grant of patent outside India without:
1. Either taking Foreign Filing Permission (FFP) from the Controller of patents. This permission is usually granted by the Controller within 21 days and is required not only for foreign filing but also for filing a PCT application; or
2. Filing for a patent for the same invention in India and waiting for 6 weeks. Who is "Resident of India"?
The term "Resident of India" has not been defined in the Patents Act, 1970 but according to Income Tax Act, an individual can be termed as a 'Resident of India' if he stays for the prescribed period during a fiscal year i.e. 1st April to 31st March, either for:
1.182 days or more; or

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Reader's comments(1)
1:To,
Bindu Sharma
Founder & CEO-Origiin IP Solutions LLP
Wednesday, January 4,
Please send me your email, I want to ask you about my patent which is applied in India and now wish to apply in USA it is on Adhesive Tape dispenser 2012
I seek your help on it.
D.P.Parkhe
Posted by: - 04th Oct 2012
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