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I am doing research on a catalyst for certain industrial process in India. The data are promissing but the work is not complete yet.

Can I file a patent application while having incomplete results? Should I submit all the computerized raw data alongwith patent application? Also, if I want to publish research paper on the patented catalyst later, can I do that?

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  • Are you working at a university? Who is funding the research?
    – Eric S
    Apr 17 at 12:31

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You should not publish until you have a patent application filed, or decide not to pursue patent protection. In my comment, I asked if you are working at a university or if someone is funding the the research. If so, you may not own the invention or may only share rights to it.

Many universities and corporations have their own patent attorneys and can help you both draft an application and devise a patent strategy. Such strategies might include an early patent application filing of the basic invention followed by further applications on potentially novel improvements. With regards to your specific questions.

Can I file a patent application while having incomplete results?

Yes you probably can as long as there is enough there to enable someone skilled in the field to use the invention. It is worthwhile working with a patent attorney to obtain the broadest possible claims.

Should I submit all the computerized raw data alongwith patent application?

Almost assuredly no. You need to submit enough information to enable someone skilled in the field to use the invention. Reams of raw data is not needed nor desired.

Also, if I want to publish research paper on the patented catalyst later, can I do that?

Assuming you have filed a patent application that covers what you consider to be the invention, you can safely publish your research even if the application hasn't yet published.

By the way, I am not a lawyer and certainly don't have any particular knowledge of the Indian patent system.

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  • I am working as a researcher in a university. Our institute encourages patent application (and of course the university own the patent but shares some rights with the inventor too). The concern is, if I apply for the patent, I may have to remove that patented part from my thesis , which I am not sure I would be okay with or not
    – Magenta
    Apr 18 at 13:31
  • @Magenta Once you have applied for the patent you should be safe in publishing your research. Just make sure the application covers what you want to protect. I've updated the answer to address this question.
    – Eric S
    Apr 18 at 14:31
  • Why would the subject matter if a patent application need to be removed from your thesis?
    – George White
    Apr 18 at 19:09
  • @GeorgeWhite Could you clarify your comment? I’m not sure I understand it.
    – Eric S
    Apr 19 at 3:25
  • It was a comment for the OP In response to something in the OP’s last comment.
    – George White
    Apr 19 at 5:12
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A patent application needs to be for something novel with an inventive step beyond what has been previously done. It needs to be useful but not necessarily optimized. Part way to your ultimate finding you might or might not have something that fits that criteria.

Patent applications need to disclose how to make and use the invention and are published 18 months from filing. If you are on the right track but not finished you might not want to let everyone know all about it while simultaneously failing to get a patent.

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