The priority date in patents is the earliest date for filing patent application within the family of patents. In case there is just one patent application, the priority date in this case would be the filing date of the single application for patent registration.
On the other hand if there is more than one application related to one patent, then the priority date of the patent would be the filing date of the first patent that has already mentioned about the subject matter of the patent.
The date can also be the earliest filing date of a specific characteristic or feature of an invention or foundation. There can be a number of priority dates if there were additional features that were to be included in any additional application. The priority date, as it is sometimes called the “effective filing date”, is used to establish the originality and/or obviousness of a particular innovation relative to other art.
Need for Patents Priority Date
In order to ascertain the novelty of the patent filed, often earlier filed patent and publicly obtainable document are analysed that may pass as prior art against the application, therefore, patent priority date becomes important.
The applications that have been submitted prior to the date of your patent application and whose records are publicly available or any patent published before your priority date will be considered as prior art or prior filed record with respect to your patent application during examination of your patent application. So it becomes important to file your patent application as soon as possible to secure priority date.
Patent filing in India is done in accordance to the Patents Act, 1970 (No.39 of 1970) as amended the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005 and also the Patents Rules, 2003, which specifies that Priority date is imperative to claims and all prior arts whether patented or non-patented literature available before the priority date is taken into thought in order to decide whether or not the claim(s) are entitled to for the grant or not. Delay in securing the priority date could result in addition of a lot of info or data to the general public domain, which can adversely have an effect on your patent grant.
Indian patent Act allows the inventor to file for provisional patent application through which the Inventor or the applicant may secure the priority date and thereafter gives a window of twelve months to file for complete specifications, the examination of the complete specification will be based on provisional patent application date which may greatly benefit its novelty and non-obviousness.
For the purpose of calculation of priority date in case of multiple priority dates wherein if a claim in such a whole application relies on the topic matter disclosed in elements in multiple provisional patent applications, then the priority date of the claim is the filing date of the provisional application that was last filed.
A complete application is to be filed within twelve months of a previously filed application in India.
The claims must be drafted in a manner that an earliest priority date is recognized and established by the patents authority and applicants must try to file for provisional patent asap so that its able to negate the similar patents that may be considered as prior arts.