Patent : An Introduction
What is patent?
Patent is an exclusive right granted by the government to innovators for a limited period of time against the full disclosure of the invention.
The main objective of patent law is to promote knowledge sharing by providing opportunities to the innovator to recover the investment incurred and to earn profit. Such knowledge sharing contributes to an overall scientific and technological development by enabling others to use the patented invention for carrying out further research and to use it freely after the expiry of patent term. Similarly, the opportunities to the innovator to recover the investment incurred and to earn profit serves a motivating factor for the innovators. Thus, the ultimate objective of the patent law is raising standard of living by promoting scientific and technological development.
In India, patents are governed by The Patents Act, 1970 (As modified and amended) & The Patent Rules, 2003 (As modified and amended).
What is patentable?
A subject matter must satisfy three criteria to be granted as patent. These are:
- Industrial application
Who can apply for patents in India?
An application for patent can be made by any one of below given person separately or jointly:
- True and first inventor
- Assignee of the true and first inventors
- Legal representative
What are the type of patent applications?
There are total five (5) types of patent application. These are:
- Ordinary patent application
- Convention patent application
- PCT national phase patent application
- Patent of addition
- Divisional patent application
Note: This blog includes details about ordinary patent application. Details pertaining to other types of application are provided separately.
Ordinary patent application can be filed with provisional specification or complete specification.
When a concept or idea has been developed enough to be disclosed on paper; however the invention has not been performed completely, the applicant is advised to file the patent application with provisional specification to get a priority date. An ideal provisional specification should contain everything which a complete specification contains except claims and examples. A provisional patent application must be followed by a complete specification within 12 months from the date of filing the provisional specification. In case of failure, the provisional application is deemed to be as abandoned. No patent is granted based on a provisional patent application alone.
A complete specification can be filed following the provisional specification within the period of 12 months or directly with the patent application without filing provisional application previously. A patent application is deemed complete only after filing the complete specification. The complete specification contains the description of invention in a manner that it enables a person skilled in the art to perform the invention without any additional guidance. The complete specification is followed by the statements of claims.
Contents of complete specification:
A typical complete specification should contain:
- Title of invention
- Field of the Invention
- Background of the invention / description of prior art and their drawbacks
- Summary of the invention / objective of invention / advantages of the invention
- Brief description of the drawings
- Detailed description of the invention
- Statement of claims
The specification should also be accompanied with an abstract clearly and succinctly describing the invention. The abstract is not a part of specification and not considered for ascertaining the scope of the claims.
Patent Agents/Attorneys and their roll:
Patent Agents/Attorneys are professionals who are duly recognized and registered with Indian patent office for representing their clients before the patent office. Patent Agents/Attorneys helps their clients and assist them in various patent processes starting from ascertaining the patentability to expiry of the patent. These various patent processes includes but not limited to patentability assessment, drafting specification, filing patent application, responding objections, attending hearing, renewing granted patents and enforcing the patents through courts.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is purely for the information purpose only. The information contained herein neither be understood as legal advice nor constitute an attorney client relationship. The information herein is intended to serve to the public in general; therefore, uses general terms rather than legal jargons. The content shall be construed accordingly.