How to Apply for Patents
Guidelines and Processes of Filing a Patent through KFUPM Innovation and Technology Transfer
The process begins with the inventor(s) disclosing their invention to the KFUPM’s Innovation & Technology Transfer office.
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- A soft copy of filled Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) and
- A detailed description of invention (including all applicable figures and tables) in a Microsoft Word file. The invention should be described with sufficient details that any person skilled in the art is abled to make and use the invention.
Submission to office:
A hard copy of the filled IDF with all the relevant signatures. (Submit to: Room 1148, Ground Floor, Innovation Cluster Building, Dhahran Techno Valley)
AN INVENTION DISCLOSURE SUBMITTED TO ITT GOES THROUGH THE FOLLOWING THREE STAGES UNTIL IT IS EITHER ACCEPTED OR REJECTED BY A COUNTRY’S PATENT OFFICE
Stage 1: Commercial Review, Inventorship Analysis, Due Diligence
In the first stage, the commercial potential of the invention is assessed, followed by ‘inventorship analysis’ to determine if the individuals listed as contributors qualify to be inventors. Additionally, further due diligence is performed to determine KFUPM’s rights in the intellectual property.
Stage 2: Prior Art Search, Patent Application Drafting and Filing
The Prior-Art Search is an online search performed by an attorney in local and foreign patent data bases, technical journals to find publicly available documents that may describe something similar to the disclosed invention. If needed the attorney may ask inventor(s) to distinguishing their work with respect to the identified ‘prior art’.
Draft of Patent Application
After the patentability of the invention is determined, the attorney prepares a ‘Draft Application’, a technically and legally written application as prescribed by the concerned Patent Office with inputs from the inventors.
Once the draft application is finalized, the patent application is filed at a country’s Patent Office.
Stage 3: Examinations by Patent Examiner
After filing, the application will be examined by an examiner assigned by the Patent Office, usually after 18-24 months from the date of filing. The examiner then issues a written report (called as Office Action or examination report), which includes comments on patentability of the claims against prior art. If needed attorney may seek technical input of the inventor(s) before filing a response in the patent office.
There can be none or more than one office action, and the cycle repeats until patent office examiner finally accepts and grants on some or all the claims in the patent
It is to be noted that
THE TIME BETWEEN FILING THE APPLICATION AND ISSUANCE OF PATENT CAN VARY ON AVERAGE BETWEEN TWO TO THREE YEARS. THE DURATION OF PROSECUTION DEPENDS ON THE TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY, THE PATENT EXAMINER, THE TIME TAKEN BY THE INVENTOR TO RESPOND TO THE EXAMINER’S ACTIONS (REJECTION OF CLAIMS, ETC.), THE COMPLEXITY OF THE INVENTION, AND THE BACKLOG AT THE PATENT OFFICE IN THAT CATEGORY.