A patent is exclusive legal rights conferred upon a person for a novel invention relating to the product or improvement of an existing product or involving an inventive process or steps that can be useful for industrial application.
A patent is exclusive legal rights conferred upon a person for a novel invention relating to the product or improvement of an existing product or involving an inventive process or steps that can be useful for industrial application. It is granted by the government as protection against reproducing, duplicating, selling or importing of the invention without the consent of the owner of the patent. It is also a territorial right that is only valid within the territory of India for a fixed period of 20 years. It also needs to be renewed every year by paying the renewal fee. It can be further restored after the 20-year validity runs out by filing a request for renewal. If a person wishes to obtain the protection of their invention in another country, they must apply for it in that country subject to their law.
In order to obtain a patent, an application has to be filed with Indian Patent Office, alone or jointly, by either the inventor or a third party authorized by them or through a legal representative in the case of a deceased person. The application can also be filed online after obtaining class II/III digital signatures from the panel of Controller of Certifying Authorities of India. There are seven types of application that can be filed, such as:
• Provisional application: When the invention is yet to be completed and is in the experimentation phase.
• Ordinary application: When the application is filed without referring to any prior application or patent in another country.
• Convention application: When a priority date is claimed based on a similar or same application filed earlier in convention countries (member countries of Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property)
• PCT International application: When the application is filed under the Patent Cooperation treaty as an international application filed in over 150 countries through a single application.
• PCT National Phase application: When a foreign entity files an application for the grant of patent in India under PCT.
• Patent of Addition: When the patent is filed for modification for an already applied for or patented invention.
• Divisional application: When a single application claims more than one invention in case objection is made to the patent on the grounds of plurality, the application maybe divided as two or more and filed.
Application is to file by filling in the prescribed forms, payment of fee, and submission of an abstract of the invention. After 48 months of filing the application, a request for examination has to be made, following which the application is examined by authorities. The patent office issues the first examination report and allows 6 months’ time for the applicant to meet further requirements. If everything is found to be in order and there are no objections filed, a letter patent is granted to the inventor/applicant. Obtaining a patent is a long and arduous process that can be eased by experienced and proficient legal guidance.