Patent Registration

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Detailed-Process-of-Patent-Registration-in-India

Patent Registration in India

A patent is a legal certificate that grants individuals or companies exclusive rights to protect their inventions, ensuring others cannot import, produce, or sell their inventions without permission. Many inventors patent their innovations to shield their unique concepts from unauthorized use.

patent filing is a formal process that grants inventors exclusive rights to their invention, whether it's a product, service, or technology. This gives the inventor sole authority over their creation for the patent's validity. Inventors and businesses must register their patents to prevent unauthorized individuals or entities from using, selling, or manufacturing their inventions without consent.

In India, a diverse range of inventions can be granted patent protection. These encompass:

  • Products: This encompasses novel and inventive tangible items like machinery, gadgets, chemicals, drugs, and fabricated goods.
  • Processes or Methods: Patents can be obtained for innovative procedures or methods that present a fresh approach to performing a particular task or producing an item. This might cover manufacturing techniques, industrial processes, or pioneering methodologies.
  • Machines: Any innovative and practical mechanical inventions, especially those showcasing novel mechanisms or parts, are patentable.
  • Manufactured Goods: Articles produced using a distinct method or possessing unique attributes can be patented.
  • Chemical Formulations: Novel and inventive chemical substances, encompassing medicinal drugs, are eligible for patents.
  • Biotechnological Discoveries: Advances in the realm of biotechnology, such as genetic modifications, gene mapping, and groundbreaking biotech processes, can be patented.
  • Software and Digital Innovations: In certain cases, software and computer-related inventions that exhibit originality and inventiveness can secure a patent.

According to the Patent Act of 1970, certain inventions and discoveries are explicitly excluded from being patented. Here's a list of non-patentable items:

  • Inventions against the laws of nature.
  • Inventions detrimental to human, animal, or plant life or harmful to the environment.
  • Discoveries of basic scientific principles or theoretical concepts.
  • Identification of substances occurring naturally, whether living or non-living.
  • Inventions that are merely an existing process or apparatus unless they lead to a novel product.
  • Simple combinations yield predictable results or properties of their ingredients.
  • Elementary modifications or reordering of familiar devices.
  • Items explicitly barred by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2002.
  • Agricultural or horticultural methods.
  • Procedures associated with medical, surgical, healing, diagnostic, therapeutic, or prevention of conditions in humans or animals.
  • Matters related to plants and animals (including seeds, varieties, species), excluding microorganisms.
  • Computer software or mathematical formulas.
  • Works of literature, drama, music, or art, encompassing films and TV shows.
  • Basic methods of playing games.
  • Simple display of information.
  • Designs of integrated circuit layouts.
  • Inventions that merely combine known properties of traditionally recognized components.
  • Subjects related to atomic energy are not patentable.
  • Always consult with a patent specialist for a thorough understanding tailored to your specific invention or idea.

Registering a patent is of paramount importance for several reasons:

  • Legal Safeguard: Registration offers a solid legal shield for the patent owner. If someone infringes upon the patent, the holder can take legal recourse and claim damages. Absent registration, this protection is unenforceable.
  • Transferable Privileges: With a registered patent, the owner can sell or license their invention, paving the way for potential revenue streams.
  • Two-Decade Protection: Once granted, a patent's protection lasts for 20 years, ensuring long-term exclusivity.
  • Business Edge: Registering a patent provides businesses a competitive upper hand, as rivals are deterred from integrating patented innovation into their offerings.
  • Building Assets: Beyond just an idea, a patent is a tangible intellectual property asset for an enterprise. It can be marketed, transferred, or leveraged in business deals.

Always consider consulting with experts when thinking about the patent filing process to reap its full benefits.

For an invention to be patentable in India, it needs to fulfill the following key criteria:

  • Novelty: The invention should be unique and not have been disclosed or published in India before the date of the patent application.
  • Inventive Step (Non-Obviousness): The invention shouldn’t be an evident advancement for someone well-versed in the relevant domain. It should bring forth something unexpected or non-obvious.
  • Industrial Utility: The invention must have practical value and be usable in an industrial setting.

Consult a patent expert to understand and navigate the patent application process effectively.

In India, once a patent is registered, it remains valid for a period of 20 years from the date of filing the provisional or complete patent application. After the conclusion of this 20-year tenure, the patent becomes public property.

For patent filing in India, the following documents are essential:

  • Patent Registration Application: Form-1.
  • Complete Specifications: Form-2. In the absence of complete specifications, a provisional specification can be submitted.
  • Statement and Undertaking: Form-3.
  • Inventor’s Declaration: A declaration from the inventor clarifying the details of the invention and its originality, provided in Form-5.
  • Proof of Right: Documentation from the inventor confirming the applicant’s right to apply for the patent registration.
  • Power of Authority: If a patent agent or legal representative is submitting the patent application, then Form-26, a power of authority, is required.
  • Priority Documents: For convention applications (from the Paris Convention) or PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) national phase applications, it’s imperative to present priority documents. These can be provided with the initial submission or within 18 months from the priority date.
  • Permission from National Biodiversity Authority: If the application involves biological material sourced from India, obtaining permission from the National Biodiversity Authority is mandatory.
  • Source of Biological Material: The patent application should specify the source or origin of any biological material mentioned in the specifications.

To ensure the continued protection of an invention, it’s essential to renew the patent regularly. If not renewed, the patent expires, and the invention becomes publicly accessible. In India, patent renewal is a yearly process carried out by the patentee by applying along with the requisite patent registration fees.

Restoration of a Patent

If the patent expires due to non-renewal, one can apply for its restoration. To do so:

  • File a restoration application using Form-15 within 18 months from the date the patent became inactive.
  • Provide a statement describing the circumstances that led to the failure to renew the patent.
  • Pay the prescribed restoration fee.
  • Upon receiving the application, the Controller will evaluate the reasons for the delay. If deemed satisfactory, the patent may be restored.
  • It’s advisable to regularly track patent renewal dates or engage with a patent agency to manage these renewals, ensuring continuous protection for the invention.

Copyright vs Trademarks vs Patents

Given below is the table that throws light on the key areas along with basic points of differentiation between copyrights, trademarks, and patents-

Area

Copyright

Trademarks

Patents

Protection Scope

Creative Works

Brands/Logos

Inventions/Ideas

Duration of Protection

Lifetime + 60 Years

Renewed Indefinitely

Limited Time

Application Process

Simple Application

Registration Process

Complex Process

Nature of Rights

Exclusive Reproduction

Exclusive Brand Use

Exclusive Invention Use

Purpose

Protects Artistic Expression

Identifies Goods/Services

Protects Inventions/Processes