How to file a patent in Pakistan

How to file a patent in Pakistan

A patent is a grant from the government which confers on the grantee, for a limited term of 20 years, exclusive rights to make, use and sell the invention. The patent grant excludes others from making, using or selling the invention.  When patents have been granted in respect to products it includes:  making, importing, offering for sale, selling and using the product stocking such product for the purposes of offering for sale, selling or using. When patents have been granted in respect of process it includes using the process or doing any of the acts referred to in Clause (a) in respect of a product obtained directly by the means of the process.  Laws of Pakistan in relation to Patents include Patents Ordinance, 2000 and Patents Rules, 2003.

A patent owner has the right to decide who may or may not use the patented invention for the period in which the invention is protected. The patent owner may give permission to, or license, other parties to use the invention on mutually agreed terms.The owner may also sell the right to the invention to someone else, who will then become the new owner of the patent. Once a patent expires, the protection ends, and invention enters the public domain, that is, the owner no longer holds exclusive right to the invention, which becomes available to commercial exploitation by others.

Any intervention that meets the substantive criteria for patentability namely, novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability are Patentable. It should have the following characteristics:

·         The intervention must be new

·         It involves an inventive step

·         It is capable of industrial application

·         It should not be contrary to Law and Morality

Types of Patents granted are : An ordinary patent, which is dated as of the official date of the application of the patent , a black mail\mail box application relating to chemical products intended for use in agriculture and medicine,  a patent claiming “Priority”, which is dated as of the official date of the corresponding application for patent first made in a country which is the member of WTO (World Trade Organization) and a patent of addition, for improvement or modification of an invention for which a patent has already been applied for or granted

Patent registration involves various steps which include filing the  Patent application  at the Patent Office of Pakistan on prescribed form (P-l,P1A,P-2,P2A) and paying the filing fee i.e. PKR 2250.  This application can be accompanied by either a Provisional or a Complete Specification. Patent specification gives technical disclosure of the invention. The description must contain enough information for the person skilled-in-the-art to be able to understand what the invention is and how the invention is to be performed.

Specification is the most important document that a patent examiner examines against the pertinent art of the field of the invention. Complete applications filed in the Patent office of Pakistan are assigned for examination to the respective examiners related to the field of invention. In this procedure, applications are taken up for examination by the examiner to whom they have been assigned.

The examination of the application consists of a study of the application for compliance with the legal requirements and a search through National and International Databases, to see if the claimed invention is new, useful and non-obvious and if the application meets the requirements of the patent statute and rules of practice. If there is any opposition to the application the examiner issues a written examination report, which sets out any deficiencies as Office action.

The applicant may respond to the written report by filing amendments to the application to overcome the objections. The examiner must then reconsider the application in the light of the applicant’s response. If any office action remains unresolved, the examiner issues another report. If the applicant does not comply with the office action within the given time the application will lapse.

When the application is free of objections (either at the beginning of examination or as a result of an applicant’s response to report), the examiner is obliged to accept the application. The acceptance is then advertised in the Official Gazette Part V.

A decision is reached by the examiner in the light of the study and the result of the search. As a result of the examination by the Patent Office, patents are granted.  This is followed by sealing the patent.


Maryam Hayat

Author: Maryam Hayat

The writer is a Barrister working as an Associate for Kilam Law and is also a member of the Editorial Team at Courting the Law.