Posted On: June 20, 2023



A Patent is one of the important intellectual property rights pertaining to protection of the inventions, which provides an exclusive right, to the applicant, for a limited period of time by the government, in exchange of full disclosure of the invention. This gives a right to the applicant for excluding others, from making, using, selling, importing the patented product or process producing that product for those purposes.

Securing a patent is an extensive and tedious process. One patent application might take as much as a few years to be granted exclusive rights. If in such a scenario an applicant wants to make minor improvements in the invention, filing a fresh patent application would be more of a hassle and is likely to be rejected by virtue of non-inventiveness or any other criteria

The provision relating to filing a Patent of Addition comes handy in such situations. This provision enables the applicant to make minor improvement to an already filed patent application for the main invention. Patent of addition provision provides the option of protecting minor improvements in an efficient manner.

However, not all countries provide this option. For example, the European Patent Convention does not give a buffer for addition of improvements to applicants. But certain member countries like Austria, Turkey and Greece have this provision at the regional level.

At Knowledgentia Consultants, we have the best Patent consultants in India, who can help with filing as well as smooth execution of all formal and technical requirements associated with drafting and filing a patent of addition. For any queries relating to patent filing and enforcement in India or global IPR protection, Knowledgentia Consultants is the best law firm in India

Sections 54, 55 and 56 of The Patents Act, 1970 elaborate on the scope, term and validity of the Patents of Addition. Section 54 provides that a Controller on request by the applicant can grant a patent of addition on any improvement made to a prior invention by the same applicant if the date of filing the application for improvement is same as or later than the priority date of the prior invention. Such patent of addition can be granted only after the main Patent application has been registered as a Patent.

Section 55 of the Act ascertains the term for a Patent of addition. The term is equal to the remainder of the term of main Patent application. In case the patent relating to the main invention is revoked so as to grant a patent for the entire improved invention, such improvement enjoys the full term.

Section 56 of the Act validates the patent of addition despite the absence of novelty or inventiveness as long as the main invention qualifies the test of novelty and inventive step.

The US patent law provides two kinds of improvement-

  • CONTINUATION PATENT APPLICATION: This is the same patent application but filed again with improved claims in order to modify the scope of an invention. An applicant can broaden the scope of invention if the examiner has narrowed down the scope in order to make the invention specific to prevent infringement.
  • CONTINUATION-IN-PART: This application is analogous to that of Addition in India. Any minor improvement and modification can be made using continuation in part. It is a flexible approach to incorporate modification in the parent application. Also the addition can enjoy the same term of patent as the parent application.

However, unlike the Indian law, application for addition of in US can be made only before the patent is granted to the parent invention. Once the invention is patented, it cannot be subjected to any improvement. Another implication of this rule is that the addition or improvement will be required to undergo the test of inventiveness and novelty if a fresh application is to be filed.

Greece is one of the members of the European Patent Convention which embraces the provision of addition of patents. Not only is Greece an exception to the Convention, it is also more flexible than other countries providing for addition. In Greece, so long as the subject matter of improvement is connected to the claims in the main invention, the applicant can apply for patent of addition.

The application for addition can be made anytime during the lifetime of the patent. The term for the main patent is revised for twenty years from the date of filing the application for addition in invention, irrespective of the priority date of the main patent. This application and grant is subject to regular payment of annual fees.

Based on the study of patent laws, different countries have different extent of flexibility when adding modifications to an invention. While some are liberal about the deadline for filing addition application, others have stringent provisions for the term of patent rights.

In India, the deadline for applying for addition of patents is before the lapse of patent on the invention. No extra renewal fees is payable as long as new patent is not filed after revoking previous patent for incorporating modification. The addition application however will only be valid for the remainder term of the main patent application.

In the US, the deadline for continuation in part application is before the grant of patent to the invention in question. A renewal fee is sought for when applying for continuation in part. The term of validity of patent granted to the modification is same as in India- the remainder of the term of patent for main invention.

In Greece, addition of patent can be requested for any time within the lifetime of patents. Certain annual fee is payable. The term, unlike other countries, is twenty from the date of filing the application for addition of patents.

There is always a room for improvement in every scenario. In case this happens with an invention, the applicant should be entitled to the same degree of intellectual property protection for the improvement in his work as for the main invention. This not only saves the hassle of fresh application filing; it also checks the abundance of pending patent applications that seek the protection as an entirely new patent for making minor changes to an already available invention as most of these applications are redundant. This provision is of great use under certain circumstances.

At Knowledgentia Consultants, we have one of the best patent consultants in India, who offer advice regarding filing and procedure with respect to patent applications. We are your one-stop solution for all kinds of legal, compliance and supplemental matters concerning patents. In case of any query regarding this matter you may email us at or visit our website -

Aashrika Ahuja
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