UNIT 4 INDIAN PATENT LAW
4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Introduction
The Patent System Patentable Inventions
What is a Patentable Invention? What is Not Patentable?
Procedure for Obtaining Patent Consequences of Grant of Patent Rights of a Patentee Limitations on Patentee’s Rights Revocation of Patent for Non-working
Transfer of Patent
Assignment Licence Transmission of Right by Operation of Law
4.7 4.8 4.9
Infringement of Patent Summary Answers and Hints to SAQs
Patent is a monopoly right granted by the State to an inventor for a limited period, in respect of the invention, to the exclusion of all others. A system of patents serves many useful purposes. If the invention is commercially utilized, the patent ensures just reward in terms of money and recognition for the inventor, for all the time and effort, knowledge and skills, money and other resources invested to come up with the invention. For the society, commercial exploitation of an invention means newer and better products, higher productivity, and more efficient means of production. The objective of granting the patent is to ensure that it is worked (utilized) in the country; and it is not meant to block production or further research and development. A patent system encourages technological innovation and dissemination of technology. This in turn stimulates growth and helps the spread of prosperity and better utilization of resources. In an age when technology and knowledge are the greatest generators of wealth, the number of patents filed and granted nationally and internationally is a good indicator of the health of science and technology in a country. Patent is granted by a State and hence has territorial applicability. That is, it is valid only in the country, which grants the patent. There is no mechanism to obtain a global patent and you have to apply separately in all the countries where you want the invention to be protected. However, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) seeks to facilitate grant of patents in the participating countries. There were 123 countries, party to the PCT as on October 15, 2003. India joined the PCT on December 7, 1998. Under the PCT, one international application for patent on an invention can be filed in any country party to the PCT, designating other PCT countries where the patent is sought. The effect of it is that the patent in a designated state, when granted, will have the same priority date as for the first international application. However, in each designated country, a separate application for patent is to be filed as per the requirements of that country. Each country has to examine the application independently for granting a patent. The grant of a patent confers essentially monopoly rights on the inventor for a limited period. In turn, it is obligatory for the inventor to disclose complete details of the invention to ensure that it can be worked on a commercial scale. Once the term of
Awareness Course on Intellectual Property Rights
patent expires, the invention comes into the public domain. In India, all patents are granted for period of 20 years. Objectives After studying this unit, you should be able to: • • • • • • recognize the patentable inventions; understand the inventions which cannot be the subject-matter of patents and the reasons thereof; understand the meaning of specifications; enlist the main steps involved in patent processing; spell out the acts which amount to infringement of patent; and understand the procedure for getting the relief in case of infringement of patent.
THE PATENT SYSTEM
The practice of granting monopolies by patent has a long history of over 600 years. The term patent can be traced to the term Letters Patent, a grant in the form of a document rolled up with the King’s or Queen’s seal appended at the bottom, conferring...