What is Patent: Meaning, Search, and Registration Procedure
What is Patent: Meaning, Search, and Registration Procedure
Patents safeguard intellectual property rights for newly developed products, services, and processes. To establish and enforce these rights in India, patents must be registered following the Indian Patent Act of 1970. The method of Patent Registration in India commences with conducting thorough patent searches before the actual application is submitted. Once it’s established that the invention is unique, a patent application can be filed with the Indian Patent Office, which maintains regional branches in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. This comprehensive article delves into the intricate aspects of patents, offering a detailed exploration of the process and importance of patent registration in India.
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What is a Patent?
A patent is a legal document that gives individuals or businesses the right to safeguard their inventions, preventing unauthorized import, production, or sale of their product. Inventors frequently opt to patent their creations to protect their innovative ideas from exploitation.
What is Patent Registration?
Patent Registration is a legal procedure that provides inventors with exclusive ownership and usage rights for their product, service, or technology. This means the inventor has a monopoly over their creation for as long as the patent is valid. Inventors and businesses must safeguard their innovative ideas and stop others from using, selling, or making their inventions without permission.
Read about Patents (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2020
What Can Be Patented in India?
In India, various types of inventions are eligible for patent protection. These include:
- Products: This category covers new and inventive physical items, such as machines, devices, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and manufactured goods.
- Processes or Methods: Innovative methods or processes that offer a novel way of accomplishing a specific task or producing a product can be patented. This may involve manufacturing processes, industrial methods, or new field techniques.
- Machines: Any new and useful machines or mechanical inventions, including those with innovative mechanisms or components, can be patented.
- Manufactured Articles: Items created through a novel process or having unique features can be patented as manufactured articles.
- Chemical Compounds: New and inventive chemical compounds, including pharmaceuticals, can be patented.
- Biotechnological Inventions: Innovations in biotechnology, such as genetic engineering, gene sequencing, and new biotechnological processes, are eligible for patent protection.
- Software and Computer-Implemented Inventions: In some instances, software and computer-related inventions can be patented, provided they demonstrate novelty and an inventive step.
What Cannot Be Patented?
The Patent Act of 1970 specifies specific exclusions from patentability. Here’s what cannot be patented:
- Inventions that violate natural laws.
- Inventions harmful to humans, animals, plant life, or the environment.
- Discoveries of scientific principles or abstract theories.
- Discoveries of naturally occurring living or non-living substances.
- Inventions that are merely a known process or machine unless they result in a new product.
- Simple mixtures that combine the properties of their components.
- Basic arrangements or rearrangements of common devices.
- Inventions excluded by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2002.
- Methods for agriculture or horticulture.
- Processes related to medicinal, surgical, curative, diagnostic, therapeutic, or human/animal disease prevention.
- Inventions concerning plants, animals (including seeds, varieties, species), except microorganisms.
- Computer programs or mathematical methods.
- Creations related to literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works, including films and television productions.
- Simple game-playing methods.
- Mere information presentation.
- Topography of integrated circuits.
- Inventions aggregating or duplicating known properties of components traditionally known.
- Inventions related to atomic energy (not patentable).
Importance of Patent Registration
Patent Registration holds significant importance for various reasons:
- Legal Protection: It provides legal protection for the patent holder. In patent infringement, the patent holder has the right to take legal action and seek damages. Without registration, legal protection cannot be enforced.
- Transferable Rights: Patent registration allows the patent holder to sell or transfer the patent, generating revenue.
- 20-Year Validity: Once registered, a patent is legally protected for 20 years.
- Competitive Advantage: It offers a competitive edge to businesses, preventing competitors from using the patented invention for similar products.
- Asset Creation: A patent is an intellectual property right and an exclusive asset for a business. It can be sold, transferred, or used for commercial agreements.
Criteria for Filing a Patent Application
When applying for a patent in India, several criteria must be met:
- Novelty: The invention must be entirely new and not published in India before the patent application’s filing date.
- Non-Obviousness: The invention should not be an obvious development and should be considered unexpected or surprising by someone skilled in the relevant field.
- Industrial Applicability: The invention should be capable of practical use in an industry.
Validity Period of a Registered Patent in India
A registered patent in India is valid for 20 years from when the provisional or complete patent registration application is filed. Once this 20-year term is completed, the patent falls into the public domain.
Documents Required for filing Patent Registration application in India is listed as follows:
- Application for Patent Registration in Form-1.
- Complete specifications in Form-2. If these are not available, a provisional specification can be used.
- Statement and Undertaking in Form-3.
- A declaration from the inventor regarding inventorship in Form-5.
- Proof from the inventor demonstrating the right to file a Patent Registration application.
- If a patent application is filed by a patent agent or attorney, a power of authority in Form-26 is required.
- For convention applications (under the Paris Convention) or PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) national phase applications, submitting priority documents either with the initial application or within 18 months from the priority date is essential.
- If the application relates to biological material obtained from India, permission from the National Biodiversity Authority is necessary.
The patent registration application must indicate the source of origin for any biological material used in the specification.
An applicant or attorney must sign the patent application, including their name and date.
|Patent Registration Application
|Provisional or Complete Specification
|Statement and Undertaking under Section 8 of The Patents Act, 1970
|Patent Agent Authorization
|For Small Entity
Process for Patent Registration in India
The patent registration process involves several stages, starting with Patent Search and ending with issuing a Patent Registration Certificate. Here’s a detailed explanation of the Patent Registration process in India:
Step 1: Indian Patent Search
The first step in the Patent Filing process in India is conducting a worldwide search to determine the uniqueness of your invention. It’s generally recommended to perform patent searches before applying for a patent. If your invention is found in prior art or closely resembles existing inventions, the novelty of your invention could be challenged by the Indian Patent Office. Therefore, conducting prior patent searches is crucial to assess the likelihood of your patent being approved.
Step 2: Drafting Patent Specification
After conducting comprehensive global searches, you need to draft a patent specification. This specification is written in technical and legal language and may or may not include the inventor’s claims. If it doesn’t include claims, it’s a provisional specification; if it does, it’s considered a complete specification. The specification delineates the scope of the invention, providing an in-depth description of the invention along with practical examples and the optimal method for utilizing it. Legal protection for the patent is conferred when the specification is crafted with the inventor’s claims and is comprehensive. Legal protection for the patent is granted when the specification is drafted with the inventor’s claims and is complete.
Step 3: Patent Application Filing
Following the drafting of the Patent Specification, you can initiate the process of filing a Patent Application in India. As mentioned earlier, patent applications can be provisional or complete, depending on the specifications drafted. The provisional or complete specification is filed in Form 2, while the Patent Application form is filed in Form 1, as per the Indian Patent Act. If a provisional patent specification is filed, a complete specification with the inventor’s claims must be filed within 12 months of the initial filing. There are six types of Patent Application forms, each serving different purposes, depending on the applicant’s needs.
Step 4: Patent Publication for Public Opposition
After the patent application process, the patent is published in an official journal and available for public viewing and inspection. This allows the general public to raise objections to the patent on valid grounds.
Step 5: Requesting Patent Examination
Examination of the patent application occurs only when a request for examination has been filed. This request must be submitted within 48 months of the patent filing date or the priority date. The patent examiner reviews the application and issues an examination report containing objections raised by the examiner. Responding to the examination report must be filed within 12 months of issuance. The examiner can call the applicant or agent for a show-cause hearing to resolve objections if necessary. This phase is also known as patent prosecution.
Step 6: Grant of a Patent
After all objections in the examination report have been addressed and the examiner is satisfied with the applicant’s response, the patent application is prepared for the grant of a Patent Registration. This marks the end of the patent registration process. However, if the examiner is not satisfied with the response and arguments from the applicant, they can reject the patent application. In such a case, the applicant must repeat the entire patent procedure in India to seek patent protection again.
Patent Renewal and How to Apply for It?
To maintain the validity of a patent, it must be renewed annually. Failure to renew a patent results in its expiration and becomes part of the public domain. In India, patent renewal can be done by the patentee for one year by submitting a renewal application with the required fees.
The patent renewal fee becomes due at the end of the 2nd year from the date of patent registration. The patent retains its effect if the renewal fees are paid within the specified time. To reinstate a patent after it has lapsed, one can file a restoration application using the prescribed Form-15 within 18 months from the date the patent lost its effect.
IndiaFilings’ assistance in Patent Registration
IndiaFilings can assist you in obtaining patent registration, guiding you through the complex process. With our expertise, we can ensure that your patent application is prepared correctly and submitted, increasing your chances of securing your intellectual property.
Don’t miss out on securing your intellectual property – contact IndiaFilings today to get started.Register Now!