The Patent Rights in Indian Legal System

-By Nikita, SY Division B

The Patents Act of 1970 and the promulgated provisions control the identification and implementation of patent rights in India. The Patents (Amendment) Act 2005 modified the Act, bringing the Indian patent regime into adherence with the WTO Agreement on “Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights 1994 (TRIPs).” The newest modification to the Patents (Amendment) Procedures 2019 went into effect on September 17, 2019, to simplify the procedural rules for e-filing of papers, requiring original documents only when the Patent Office requests them. The modification also broadened the qualifying conditions for accelerated review of patent applications under the Patents Act of 1970 to cover small companies, government agencies, government-funded organizations, and other applicants. “The Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules 2007” govern the enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights (including patents) by customs. Patent holders can report items that are infringing on their patent rights to customs officials. Customs officials can detain and confiscate items based on this information in line with the appropriate process.

Act VI of 1856 was the initial stage in the patent process in India. The legislation’s primary goal was to stimulate the development of innovative and beneficial products and encourage inventors to divulge their innovations and make them accessible to the people. Because the Act was passed without the permission of the British Crown, it was revoked by Act IX of 1857. Act XV of 1859 created new legislation for awarding “exclusive privileges.” This bill makes specific changes to the previous bill, such as exclusively granting exclusive advantages to beneficial innovations and extending the priority period from six to twelve months. Importers were not included in the definition of an inventor under the Act. In the years 1872, 1883, and 1888, the Act was modified again.

All prior statutes were abolished by the Indian Patent and Design Act of 1911. On April 20, 1972, the “Patents Act 1970 and the Patent Rules 1972” took effect, “replacing the Indian Patent and Design Act 1911.” The Patent Act is based on the suggestions of the Ayyangar Committee, chaired by Rajagopala Iyengar, in their report Justice Ann. Allowing patents for inventions associated with medicines, medications, chemicals, and food was one of the recommendations. The Patents (Amendment) Act of 2005 modified the Patents Act of 1970 to expand product patents to all technology fields, including food, medicine, chemicals, and microbes. Provisions pertaining to “exclusive marketing rights (EMR)” have been removed, and a clause allowing the issue of compulsory licenses has been added due to the modification. There has also been the inclusion of pre-grant and anti-post-grant protest provisions.

An idea, design, brand, or another type of production on which a person or corporation has lawful rights is referred to as Intellectual Property (IP). Every company has intellectual property, which may be an asset.

A few examples of Intellectual Property Rights are as follows:

“Copyright is a legal term that refers to the protection of written or published works such as books, songs, films, web content, and artistic creations.”

Patents – they safeguard commercial inventions like a new company product or technique.

Designs, such as blueprints or simulations, are protected by this provision.

“Trademarks protect signs, symbols, logos, phrases, or sounds that identify one’s products and services from those of others.”

A patent is the government’s exclusive right to intercept someone else from using, producing, or trading innovation for a specific period. For enhancements to one’s prior invention, a patent is also obtainable. The fundamental motive of patent law is to inspire innovators to contribute more to their fields by providing exclusive rights to their innovations. The patent is the privilege awarded “to an inventor for the invention of any novel, useful, non-obvious process, the machine, object of manufacture, or composition of matter in contemporary terminology.” The word “patent” comes from the Latin word “patere,” which meaning “to open” or “to make available for public examination.” Any innovation must pass three fundamental conditions to be patentable:

To begin with, the innovation must be novel, which means that it must not already exist. Second, the invention must be novel. That is, it must be a considerable advance over the prior one; a change in technique alone will not grant the inventor the right to a patent. Third, the innovation must be beneficial in a genuine manner, which means that it cannot be utilized only for unlawful purposes and must be valuable to everyone around the globe legitimately.

An invention is limited if it is not publicized in any form, such as oral, written, or any other state, on applying. If something is already in the public domain, it will not be considered innovative. The patent has a restricted duration of 20 years, which begins when the patent application is filed. A patent is a legal claim to a particular land piece. Hence, as a result, it can only be used in the nation where it was issued. A patent is a legal claim to a specific land piece. As a result, it can only be used in the government where it was published. As a result, any legal action against patent infringement or infringement may only be taken in that nation. Each country must file for a patent to get patent protection in that country. “The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)” establishes a method for filing a patent which would be an internationally recognized application in which a patent may get submitted in many nations using a single patent application. The PCT of a patent, on the other hand, is left to the discretion of the individual patent office once the application has been submitted.

According to Indian patent law, a patent may only be granted for a new and beneficial invention. The innovation must be related to a manufacturer’s machine, product, or substance or the manufacturing process. A patent can also be sought for the creation of a new product or manufacturing method. Medicine or drugs, or certain kinds of chemicals, there is no patent provided for the substance particularly, even though it is considered novel. In such cases, the process of production and the substance can get patented. The person, who has acquired the title or the first inventor, must make a true application for a patent, and the right to apply for a patent must be assessable.

The exclusions limiting what can be patented in India are clearly stated in “Sections 3 and section 4 of the Indian Patents Act, 1970.” To get a patent in India, several requirements must be met. They are as follows:

The subject of the patent:

The most crucial factor to examine is whether the invention is associated with a patentable subject matter. In “Section 3 and section 4 of Indian patent act, the non-patentable subject matter” is included. Unless the invention falls under one of the provisions of Sections 3 or 4, it is a patentable topic.

Novelty: An essential factor in assessing the patentability of an invention is its novelty. Any discovery or novelty is explained as “no innovation or technique published in any documentation before the time of filing of a design patent, wherever in the nation or the world,” according to “Section 2(l) of the Patent Act.” The entire specification, i.e., the subject in consideration, is not considered as state of the art or not has been made known to the public sphere.

To put it another way, the uniqueness criterion stipulates that innovation should never have been released into the public domain. It must be the most recent, with no earlier arts that are identical or comparable.

According to “Section 2(a)” of Patent law, an innovative step is defined as “the characteristic of an invention that includes scientific development or is of economic importance or both, as contrasted to existing knowledge and innovation not evident to a person versed in the art.” If someone has experience in the sector that came as the field of invention, then innovation will not be evident to that person. For someone with experience in the same industry, it should not be innovative and apparent.

Industrial applicability is defined as “the invention is capable of being produced or utilized in an industry,” according to Section 2 (ac) of the Patents Act. “This essentially indicates that the invention can’t live in a vacuum.” For being granted the patent, one should remember that its product or service should be utilized in one of the industries present, which means it should be of actual use to be patented.

These are legal requirements for acquiring a patent for an innovation. The revelation of a competent patent is also a significant criterion for getting a patent. A competent patent disclosure is when the Invention is sufficiently disclosed in a patent draught specification to allow a person knowledgeable in the same area to carry out the Invention without excessive effort.

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