Science and technology are the hallmarks of the modern era. The legal system should believe in awarding commercial monopoly rights of the invention to the original creators for economic exploitation. Patents are a form of legal awards and protection which stimulates technology and industrial growth.
In M/s Bishwanath Prasad Radhey Shyam v. Hindustan Metal Industries, the Supreme Court has observed, “The object of patent law is to encourage scientific research, new technology and industrial progress. Grant of exclusive privilege to own, use, or sell the method or the product patented for a limited period stimulates new inventions of commercial utility. The price of the grant of the monopoly is the disclosure of the invention at Patent Office, which after expiry of the fixed period of the monopoly, passes into public domain.”
The term ‘patent’ has its origin from the Latin word ‘patene’ which means ‘To Open.’Essentially, a patent is a legal agreement that grants the creator of a new and useful invention a monopoly right for some fixed period of time in exchange for disclosing the invention. In terms of intellectual property, it is important. Patents are regulated by law in terms of their grant and use.
General Principles Applicable to Working of Patent
Inventors are increasingly rewarded with monopoly rights in the field of research and technology development. Industrial enterprise research and development are key factors for a nation's economic prosperity.
As a result of its strong and vibrant patent regime, the U.S.A. enjoys superiority and prosperity in all spheres of technology and industry. Patents have now become valuable on a global scale. To comply with TRIPs requirements, Indian patent law has been modified appropriately.
A patent's aims and objects are very succinctly outlined in Section 83 of the Patents Act. Furthermore, the law presumes that the patented invention will be exploited for the benefit of the general public, and the central government may take appropriate action. These presumptions are as follows:
1) That patent are granted to encourage inventions and to secure those inventions in india on commercial scale
2) They are not granted merely to enable patentees to enjoy monopoly for patented article or invention
3) That protection and enforcement of patent rights contribute to promotion of technological innovation
4) Transfer and dissemination of technology to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge
5) Patent granted do not impede protection of public health and nutrition and should act as instrument to promote public interest
6) The patents granted do not prohibit central government in taking any measures with regard to public health
7) Patents are granted to make benefit of patented inventions available at affordable prices to the common public
Requirements to Grant Patents
The definition of invention under Patents Act, 1970 is defined as follows: “invention means a new product or process involving an inventive step and capable of industrial application.
An inventive step means a feature of invention that involves technical advances as compared to the existing knowledge or having economic significance or both and that makes the invention not obvious to a person skilled in art.”
The following are the necessary factors to consider while granting patents to any invention or article:
Novelty: A core value of ours is novelty. Under the Patent (Amendment) Act, 2005, a newly invented invention is an invention or technological development that has not been previously published or used in the country or elsewhere in the world before the date of filing of a patent application with complete specifications, and whose subject matter has not fallen into the public domain.
Essentially, novelty in an invention depends on the state of the art, i.e., existing knowledge and similar inventions already known in the area. In the absence of a prior publication and prior use of an identical invention, novelty would not exist.
For instance, Turmeric products were recently granted a patent in the USA based on this argument. A challenge was brought by the Indian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research against the grant of a patent on turmeric by the U.S. This was based on the argument that the invention was not novel. An American company had its patent granted to it revoked by CSIR.
Non - Obviousness: It is not possible to obtain patent rights for straightforward modifications or extensions of prior designs that are not novel, useful, and non-obvious. Despite the difference between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art, a patent may not be granted if the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at conception to a person with ordinary skill in the art. Besides novelty, potentiality must be determined by the "non-conventional" nature of the "subject matter" sought to be patented.
It is not necessary to grant patents for every advance in a trial. Minor improvements were considered the work of a skilled mechanic, so protection was not warranted. Sometimes it is difficult to tell whether an improvement is just a mechanical advance or a meritorious invention resulting from the exercise of creative faculties. Inventions can seem simple after they are made, but that does not mean they are simple.
Industrial Applicability: Patents can only be granted to inventions that have industrial applicability. Intellectual creations and abstracts do not qualify for patent protection. The use may not be for profit and hence it includes agricultural use also. Capable of industrial application does not require proof of actual use. The potential to be used or made in industry is sufficient evidence for proof of industrial application.
Rights of a Patent Holder in India
When a patentee invents a procedure or product, the exclusive rights and obligations of a patentee are given to the patentee as an inspiration to invest in creative or inventive exercises and spread them to the public at large.
Patentees' exclusive rights and obligations are not unending, and they can be revoked under certain exceptional circumstances where it is necessary to balance the interests of patent holders and other parties.
The rights conferred to a patent holder in India are as follows:
➔ Exploitation of the Patent: Patentees in India have exclusive right to use, manufacture, import, and sell inventions related to products. The right to exploit means the exclusive right to exercise or use the procedure or method on the territory of India when the inventor's invention is a method or procedure for manufacturing an article or substance.
➔ Granting License: Patentees have the right to grant licenses or transfer rights or enter into some arrangement for some consideration. Assignments and licenses must be in writing and registered with the Controller of Patents in order to be valid and legitimate. An assignment document is not admissible as evidence of title to a Patent unless it is registered, and such a rule only applies to the assignee, not to the assignor.
➔ Sue for Infringement: Infringements of patents may be sued in District Courts, which have jurisdiction to hear the case.
➔ Use and Enjoy Patent: It is the exclusive right of the Patentee to exercise, manufacture, utilize, convey or offer the patented substance or article in India, or to practice or utilize the processes or techniques associated with the invention. A Patentee can exercise such rights either directly or through his/her licensees or agents.
It has become increasingly common for patents to be granted, protected, and promoted in recent years.
Laws have been amended a number of times, with many old acts being repealed and updated laws being enacted. The distinction between inventions that need protection and those that don't has become increasingly difficult. In order to grant a patent, a number of steps have been specified.
In the end, India is an ever growing market where new technological advancements and innovations keep happening. To truly make the invention useful for the general public at large and to keep the pace of advancements flowing, it must be made available to all.
iPleaders https://blog.ipleaders.in/what-is-a-patent-law-in-india/ (last visited July 8, 2022)
Banana IP https://www.bananaip.com/ip-news-center/patentability-requirements-in-india/ (last visited July 9, 2022)
Corp Biz https://corpbiz.io/learning/rights-and-obligations-of-patentee-in-india/ (last visited July 10, 2022)
This article is written by Kulwant kohli of Rani Durgavati Vishwavidhalya.