1. What is a Patent?

A patent is a grant from the Government which confers on the grantee the exclusive right of making, using, selling the invention and also authorizing others to do so. The patents granted under the Act are operative in the whole of India. There is nothing like a ‘World Patent’ or ‘International Patent’. However, under the Patent Co-Operation Treaty, one can file an International Application in India, besides his Indian application.

2. Patentable Invention :

For an invention to be Patentable :
It should be new, useful and it should involve an ‘inventive step’ i.e. it should not be obvious to any prior skilled in the particular field to which the invention relates.

3. Certain Inventions Not Patentable :

There are certain inventions which are not patentable under the Act. These are given below:
• Mere new ideas are not patentable but if such an idea can be reduced to actual practice i.e. if it is workable, a patent application can be filed.
•Frivolous invention or claims which are contrary to well-established natural laws.
•Mere arrangement or rearrangement or duplication of known devices, each functioning independently of one another in a known way.
•A method or process of testing applicable during the process of manufacture for rendering the machine, apparatus or other equipment more efficient or for the improvement or restoration of the existing machine, apparatus or other equipment or for the improvement or control of manufacture.
•A method of agriculture or horticulture.
•Inventions related to atomic energy.
•Computer Software.
•Aesthetic Creations.
•Discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods. Discovery of a new property of known compound.
•Schemes, rules or methods for performing mental acts playing games or doing business.
•Presentations of information.
•Methods of treating humans or plants or animals.
•Animals and plants, and biological methods for rearing/growing them.
•Products made by chemical synthesis-foods, medicines, drugs, chemical compound, etc.

3. Application for a Patent - who can apply; and documents required:

Any person or his assignee, (subject to any rules governing them), claiming to be true and first inventor can apply for a patent.
Application for patent should be on a prescribed form. It should be accompanied by a specification i.e. Provisional or Complete Specification. Provisional Specification gives the title and the nature of invention while Complete Specification should give all the details known to the applicant so that the invention can be put to practice. It should give title, Prior Art, the limitations of such Prior Art and how the invention has overcome them and give the complete description of the invention, if necessary with the help of drawings, a statement called claims - the exact and precise statement of the invention for which patent protection is required and an Abstract of invention. This drafting of specification requires techno-legal skill. (A separate paper is given when the applicant desires to file an application as to the details he should give to this office). The Complete Specification has to be filed within one year from the date of filing of Provisional Specification.

4. Procedure for grant of a patent :

i. Filing an application for a patent accompanied by either a Provisional Specification or a complete specification.
ii.Filing the Complete Specification if a Provisional Specification accompanied the application.
iii.FPublication in the Patent Journal (18 months from the priority date or can pre-pone the publication). Start of Pre-grant opposition period.
iv.FFiling a Request for Examination. Examination report expected within 3 months from filing the request.
v.FResponding to the queries raised by the examiner – total 6 months period to respond.
vi.FGrant of Patent.
vii.FPost Grant opposition period for 1 year from grant.

5. Term and Renewal of Patent :

As per the amended Patents Act, the term of patents of all sorts is 20 years from the date of patent application.
After the grant of a patent, it has to be kept in force by payment of Renewal Fee. The fee becomes payable at the expiration of the 2nd year from the date of patent or of any succeeding year and the same must be remitted to the Patent Office where the application was originally filed, before the expiration of the 2nd or the succeeding year. In case where the patent is granted after 2 years from the date of patent, such renewal fees which have become due have to be paid within 3 months from the date of recordal of patent in the Patent Register.