A patent safeguards new inventions and ideas, offering government-backed protection under the Patent Act, 1970. To qualify, the invention must be innovative and original. Patents are valid for 20 years, extendable in certain cases.
Importance of patent registration:
- A patent grants exclusive rights, stopping unauthorized replication and sales of an innovation.
- Licensing the patent to others boosts income with sole privileges.
- It's a crucial tool, especially for researchers and innovators, protecting creative product and process advancements.
- Patents hold significant value for small businesses, aiding in market expansion and growth.
Documents required for patent registration
- To file a patent application, use Form 1.
- The inventor must confirm and endorse the application.
- Within a year of filing, submit the complete specification using Form 2.
- If required, include an explanation and undertaking in Form 3 under section 8.
- The Inventorship declaration is necessary for an application with a full specification.
- If filed by a Patent agent, Form 26 for Power of Attorney is essential.
- Priority reports are needed for Convention and PCT Public Stage Applications (if Rule 17.1 hasn't been completed).
- For applications related to natural materials, authorization from the National Biodiversity Authority is required.
- All patent applications must include the signature and date of the applicant, authorized person, or patent agent.
Procedure to register
Step 1: Patent Search
Before filing a patent, the initial step is to conduct a novelty search to ensure the uniqueness of the innovation. This helps save time and costs.
Step 2: Drafting the Application
After the search, the inventor drafts the innovation in techno-legal language, describing it with or without claims. A detailed description with examples and operational methods is essential for skilled individuals to perform the innovation.
Step 3: Filing for Patent
The legal section includes claims of the innovation, playing a crucial role in patent registration. Different forms are used as per the act. The drafted provisional and completed specifications are filed using Form 2 of the patent act.
Step 4: Application Examination
Once the patent application is filed, it undergoes scrutiny by the patent regulator. To expedite assessment, the applicant can request quick assessment within four years by stating the reasons.
Step 5: Patent Certificate Issued
At this stage, the patent application is thoroughly reviewed. If any objections are raised, the inventor must demonstrate the innovation's patentability. Once all objections are addressed and the examiner is satisfied, the patent is granted to the applicant.
A patent can be granted by a public patent office or a local office that manages this task for multiple countries. Currently, the following regional patent offices are in operation.
Certainly, not all ventures lead to patentable innovations. It's a misconception that patents are only for intricate processes or products or are useful solely for large corporations. Patents can cover a wide range of innovations, from simple items like paper clips to complex technologies like computers. When people think of patents, they often recall major scientific breakthroughs or big companies investing in research. However, the majority of patents are granted for improvements to existing technologies rather than ground-breaking discoveries. For instance, they might cover the second or third generation of a product or a process that operates more cost-effectively or efficiently. Some countries have legal provisions for safeguarding these incremental improvements known as utility models, which have shorter durations than patents and are generally easier to obtain.
Patents are limited to specific regions. Typically, the exclusive rights apply only within the country or region where the patent is filed, following the laws of that particular area or nation.
Patent owners usually take legal action to protect their rights. Courts can intervene to stop patent infringement in many legal systems. However, the primary responsibility for detecting and taking action against patent violators rests with the patent owner.