Intellectual property has played an increasingly essential role in today’s technology-driven culture. Patents are an important asset for any company. As a result, the patenting operations of a company become the yardstick by which its inventive strength is measured. Moreover, in terms of the amount and quality of patents, the corporation is becoming increasingly demanding. So, keep reading to understand the working of patents in India.
What is a Patent?
A patent is a legal document issued by a state or national government depending upon national standards. It gives an inventor the exclusive right to make, use, and sell their product, for a fixed period of time. So, the fundamental goal of this strategy is to urge inventors to safeguard their ideas. However, Patents are not available for books, movies, or individual works of art. Copyright law, on the other hand, can help you safeguard these assets. Patent law is a component of the larger field of intellectual property law, which also includes trademark and copyright law. Let’s understand everything about patents in India.
History of Patents in India
- Act VI of 1856 was the initial stage in the patent process in India. The legislation’s major goal was to foster the development of innovative and beneficial products and encourage inventors to divulge their inventions and make them available to the public. Because the Act was passed without the authority of the British Crown, it was revoked by Act IX of 1857.
- Act XV of 1859 was presented in 1859 as new legislation for giving ‘special privileges’. As a result, this bill makes specific changes to the previous bill, such as granting exclusive privileges to valuable discoveries alone and extending the priority period from six to twelve months. But Importers were not included in the definition of an inventor under the Act. In 1872, 1883, and 1888, the Act was revised again.
- After that, all prior legislation was repealed by the Indian Patent and Design Act of 1911.
- However, on April 20, 1972, the Patents Act 1970 and the Patent Rules 1972 took effect, replacing the Indian Patent and Design Act 1911. A recommendation made in the report was to allow process patents for inventions related to pharmaceuticals, drugs, food, and chemicals.
- By revising the Patents (Amendment) Act of 2005, patents were extended to cover all fields of technology, such as food, medicine, chemicals, and microbes. As a result of the amendment, provisions regarding exclusive marketing rights (EMR) have been deleted and a clause allowing compulsory licenses has been added. In addition, pre-grant and anti-post-grant protest provisions have been added.
Patents Act 1970
According to the patents act, of 1970, Patent rights are given for inventions that cover a new and inventive process, product, or piece of manufacture that meet the patent eligibility requirements of novelty, inventive steps, and industrial applicability.
So, the Indian Patent Act of 1970 achieves a balance between the applicant’s rights and his responsibilities to the society that grants the rights. Additionally, the Act includes provisions for product and process patents, a 20-year patent term, patent examination on request, a fast-track mechanism for expedited appeals resolution, pre-grant and post-grant opposition, protection of biodiversity and traditional knowledge, and the publication of patent applications after 18 months from the date of filing.
What can be Patented?
In Sections 3 and 4 of the Indian Patents Act, 1970, the exclusions regarding what can be patented in India are clearly outlined. To receive patents in India, there are various requirements. They are as follows:
In assessing whether an invention qualifies for a patent, the most critical factor is whether it pertains to the patentable subject matter. The non-patentable subject matter is listed in Sections 3 and 4 of the Patents Act. As long as the invention doesn’t fall under one of the sections 3 or 4, it is patentable.
When it comes to determining the patentability of an invention, innovation is a critical factor. In the patenting world, novelty refers to innovation or technique that has not been previously published, whether in your country or in other countries,” according to Section 2(l) of the Patent Act. The entire specification, i.e., the subject matter, has not been released into the public domain or is not considered state-of-the-art.”
To put it another way, the uniqueness requirement states that innovation should never have been released into the public domain. It must be the most recent, with no preceding arts that are the same or similar.
Inventive steps or non-clarity:
An innovative step is defined as “the quality of an invention that incorporates scientific advancement or is of economic importance or both, as compared to existing knowledge, and invention not obvious to a person competent in the art,” according to Section 2 of the Patents Act. This means that the invention should not be obvious to someone with experience in the same field as the invention. For someone with experience in the same field, it should not be imaginative and obvious.
Capable of industrial application:
Industrial applicability is defined as “the invention is capable of being manufactured or employed in an industry” in Section 2 of the Patents Act. This essentially means that the invention can’t exist in a vacuum. As a result, it must be of actual utility in terms of patents, which means that it can be applied to any industry.
The following are legal requirements for obtaining patents in India for an invention. The publication of a competent patent is also a significant criterion for acquiring a patent. A competent patent disclosure indicates that the Invention must be sufficiently disclosed in a patent draught specification enabling a person versed in the same field to carry out the invention without undue effort.
How to Patent an Idea in India?
Step 1: Write out all of the details regarding the invention (idea or concept)
Gather all relevant facts concerning your invention, including:
- The invention field
- What is the description of the invention?
- How does it function?
- Invention’s Advantages
- If you worked on the invention during the research and development phase, you should have some call lab records signed by you and the appropriate authority and dated.
Step 2: Include a diagram, drawing, or sketch that describes the invention
Drawings and diagrams should be created in such a way that the visual work may be better conveyed in conjunction with the innovation work. In patent applications, they play a crucial role.
Step 3: Determine whether or not the invention is patentable
Not all inventions are patentable, and certain inventions have not been declared patentable under the Indian Patent Act.
Step 4: Patent discovery
The next stage is to determine whether your invention satisfies all patent conditions outlined in the Indian Patent Act.
- It must be a brand-new invention.
- The invention has to be obscure.
- Industrial applications are required for the invention.
Step 5: Apply for a patent
You can submit a provisional application if you are still in the early stages of your invention’s research and development. It has the following advantages:
- The deadline for filing.
- The whole specification must be filed within 12 months.
- Less expensive.
- You secure the filing date by filing a provisional application, which is highly significant in the patent field. You have 12 months to complete the specification; at the end of that time, your patent application will be removed.
- You can fill the whole specification with the patent application whenever you have finished the needed paperwork and your research work has progressed to the point where you can have prototypes and experimental findings to prove your innovative step.
- If you are at the stage when you have comprehensive knowledge of your invention, you can skip the preliminary specification and proceed right to the full specification.
Step 6: The application is published
The application is published 18 months after the first filing when the complete specification is filed with the patent application.
If you don’t want to wait until 18 months from the filing date to publish your patent application, you can submit an initial publishing request with the required fee. In most cases, the patent application is publicized early as a one-month form request.
Step 7: Submit an examination request
Only after obtaining a request for an RFE examination is the patent application examined. Following receipt of this request, the Controller assigns your patent application to a patent examiner, who reviews it for the following patent eligibility criteria:
- The subject of the patent
- Lack of clarity
- Inventory steps
- Application in the workplace
After reviewing the patent application for the aforementioned conditions, the examiner issues the first examination report. This process is known as patent prosecution. Patent prosecution refers to everything that happens in the lead-up to a patent application being granted.
The examiner’s first examination report frequently contains previous art (documents that existed before the filing date) that is similar to the claimed invention and is also communicated to the patent applicant.
Step 8: Respond to any objections
The majority of patent applicants will face objections based on the examination report. The best course of action is to discuss the examination report with a patent specialist (patent agent) and respond to the examination report’s objections.
In inspection reports, this is an opportunity for an investor to communicate his originality above the prior art. Inventors and patent agents prepare and deliver a test response to demonstrate that their invention is patentable and fits all patent requirements.
Step 9: Clearing any objections
The Controller and the patent applicant are linked to ensure that all objections to the invention or application are addressed and that the inventor has a fair chance to establish novelty and creative steps over other existing arts.
Step 10: Obtaining a patent
The application for the grant will be submitted once all patent requirements have been completed. A patent grant is announced in the Patent Journal, which is published regularly.
To sum up, in India, patents can help to safeguard innovation. A patent is a legal privilege issued by the government that prevents others from manufacturing, using, selling, or importing a patented product or procedure without permission. This is an important step for an inventor to take if they want to protect their innovation from exploitation. The process of filing a patent in India is lengthy, but with the right guidance and assistance, it may be completed fast. So, a professional patent attorney should be consulted by anyone who wants to get a patent.
1. What is the meaning of Patents in India?
Ans: A patent is the government’s exclusive right to prevent others from using, making, or selling an innovation for a set period of time.
2. What can be Patented in India?
Ans: Patents can be used for almost anything. Machines, medications, computer programs, machine-made goods, compositions, chemicals, biogenetic materials, and processes are all possible topics.
3. What is the Indian patent act?
Ans: All prior legislation was repealed by the Indian Patent and Design Act of 1911. As a result, on April 20, 1972, the Patents Act 1970 and the Patent Rules 1972 took effect, replacing the Indian Patent and Design Act 1911.
4. How fast can we get Patents in India?
Ans: A patent grant via the general/regular process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 years from the date of filing.
5. How to Patent an idea in India?
Ans: It is a ten-step method that we have already covered in this blog.