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Patent, Patent vs. Trademark, Criteria for issuing Patents

Patent

  • A patent is an intellectual property right.
  • A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a new product or process that meets conditions of
    • novelty,
    • non-obviousness, &
    • industrial use.
  • A patent provides the owner with the right to decide how – or whether – the invention can be used by others.

IPR: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) IPR: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Criteria for issuing Patents in India

  1. Novelty: it should be new (not published earlier + no prior Public Knowledge/ Public Use in India)
  2. Non obviousness: It must involve an inventive step (technical advanced in comparison to existing knowledge + non‐obvious to a person skilled in the relevant field of technology)
  3. Industrial use: It should be capable of Industrial application
  • Patents in India are governed by “The patent Act 1970” which was amended in 2005 to make it compliant with TRIPS.

What cannot be patented?

  • Frivolous Invention: Invention that harms public order/Morality/ health of animals, plants & humans
  • Methods of agriculture or horticulture
  • Traditional Knowledge
  • Computer Program
  • Inventions related to Atomic Energy
  • Plants & Animals
  • Mere discovery of scientific principle

Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2020

  • The central government has published an amended Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2020.
  • The new rules have amended the format of a disclosure statement that patentees & licensees are required to annually submit to the Patent Office.
  • The format contains disclosing the extent to which they have commercially worked or made the patented inventions available to the public in the country.
  • The disclosure is to be made in the Form 27 format as prescribed under the Patent Rules, 2003.
  • The patentees & licensees as well as the Patent Office have blatantly disregarded this statutory requirement.
  • There has been significant pressure from MNCs & the U.S. to do away with this requirement.

Criticism of Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2020

  • The amendment has significantly weakened the requirement of submitting information in the disclosure.
  • This could hamper the effectiveness of India’s compulsory licensing regime which depends on full disclosure of patent working information.
  • This in turn could hinder access to vital inventions including life-saving medicines.
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