A patent gives you the right to stop people from making, using, importing or selling your invention without your permission. A granted patent can remain in force for up to 20 years if you renew it regularly. A patent also allows you to license others to use your invention which can generate royalties and provide an important source of revenue for your business.
If there is an Innovative idea belongs to a product or a process which has novel feature, has an inventive step and is capable of Industrial application then such innovation can be termed as Patentable innovation.
Requirements of Patentability
- Subject matter
- Inventive step or Non-Obviousness
- Capable of Industrial Application
- Enabling Disclosure
Subject Matter: It is important to determine whether the invention is related to the patentable subject matter. Section 3 & 4 defines about what is not a patentable subject matter, if the invention is not falling under the provisions of section 3 or 4 this means it’s a patentable subject matter.
Novel: An invention is termed as novel if the elements of claim of the invention are not anticipated by a single prior art which is published or already known to the public.
Inventive Step or Non-Obviousness: Inventive step is defined under Section 2(ja) of the Patents Act as “a feature of an invention that involves technical advance as compared to the existing knowledge or having economic significance or both and that makes the invention not obvious to a person skilled in the art”. This means that the invention must not be obvious to a person skilled in the same field as the invention relates to. It must be inventive and not obvious to a person skilled in the same field.
Capable of Industrial Application: Industrial applicability is defined under Section 2(ac) of the Patents Act as “the invention is capable of being made or used in an industry”. This essentially means that the invention cannot exist in abstract. It must be capable of being applied in any industry, which means that the invention must have practical utility in order to be patentable.
Enabling Disclosure: An enabling patent disclosure means a patent draft specification must disclose the invention sufficiently, so as to enable a person skilled in the same field as the invention relates to, to carry out the invention without undue effort. If the patent specification does not disclose an enabling patent then chances of grant of a patent is very less.
Advantages of Patent
- A patent gives the right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling or importing your invention without your permission.
- Patentee gets the protection for a pre-determined period, which allows keeping competitors at bay.
- Patentee can use the invention.
- Alternatively, patentee can license the patent for others to use it or can sell it. It provides an important source of revenue to the business. Indeed, some businesses exist solely to collect the royalties from a patent they have licensed – perhaps in combination with a registered design and trade mark.
The types of applications that can be filed are:
- PROVISIONAL APPLICATION: Indian Patent Law follows first to file system. A provisional application is an application which can be filed if the invention is still under experimentation stage. Filing a provisional specification provides the advantage to the inventor since it helps in establishing a ―priority date of the invention. Further, the inventor gets 12 months’ time to fully develop the invention and ascertain its market potential and to file the complete specification.
- ORDINARY APPLICATION: An application for patent filed in the Patent Office without claiming any priority either in a convention country or without any reference to any other earlier application under process in the office. Such type of application is known an ordinary application.
- CONVENTION APPLICATION: An application for patent filed in the Patent Office, claiming a priority date based on the same or substantially similar application filed in one or more of the convention countries are known as a convention application. In order to get convention status, an applicant should file the application in the Indian Patent Office within 12 months from the date of first filing of a similar application in the convention country.
- PCT INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION: An Application filed in India as Receiving Office (RO) under Patent Cooperation Treaty is an international application which can be filed in more than 150 countries by a single application.
- PCT NATIONAL PHASE APPLICATION: When an international application is made according to PCT designating India, an applicant can file the national phase application in India within 31 months from the international filing date or the priority date, whichever is earlier.
- PATENT OF ADDITION: When an invention is a slight modification of the earlier invention for which he has already applied for or has obtained patent, the applicant can go for patent of addition if the modification in the invention is new. One of the benefits of filing patent of addition is that there is no need to pay separate renewal fee for the patent of addition during the term of the main patent and it expires along with the main patent.
- DIVISIONAL APPLICATION: When an application claims more than one invention, the applicant on his own or to meet the official objection on the ground of plurality or distinct invention may divide the application and file two or more applications, as the case may be for each of the inventions. This type of application, divided out of the parent one, is known a Divisional Application. The priority date for all the divisional applications will be same as that of the main (the Parent) Application (Ante-dating).
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