Understanding the legal provisions related to patents is a fundamental aspect of intellectual property rights for inventors or business entities planning to get their inventions registered in India. The Patent Act, 1970, and Patent Rules, 1972, govern these legal principles. Given that the registration process might entail complexities, SimranLaw, a leading Indian law firm with seasoned patent lawyers in Chandigarh, offers insights to simplify these intricacies.
1. Eligibility for Patent:
An inventor or any other person/company assigned by the inventor can apply for a patent. However, if the inventor is deceased, the right to apply is transferred to the legal representative of the deceased (Section 6).
2. Patentable Subject Matter:
Not all inventions can be patented in India. The Patent Act stipulates that an invention must be new, non-obvious and capable of industrial application (Section 2(1)(j), Section 2(1)(ja), and Section 2(1)(l) respectively).
The Act further excludes certain areas from patentability under Section 3 and 4, such as frivolous inventions, inventions contrary to public order or morality, and traditional knowledge.
For instance, in Novartis AG Vs. Union of India & others, the Supreme Court refused a patent for Novartis’s cancer drug Glivec, ruling that it didn’t meet the criteria of ‘invention’ as per the standards of Indian Patents Act, thus setting an important precedent.
3. Application Procedure:
The process begins with drafting a patent application that includes a detailed description of the invention in question (Section 5). Post application, the Indian Patent Office conducts an examination (Section 11B), followed by a publication (Section 11A), and finally grants the patent after resolving any opposition (Section 25).
4. Rights of Patentees:
Once a patent is granted, the patentee has exclusive rights over the patented invention for a period of 20 years (Section 48). The patentee can prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing the patented invention within India.
5. Infringement and Legal Remedy:
If any entity infringes upon the rights of a patentee, the aggrieved party can seek legal recourse (Section 104). It is worthwhile to note the landmark ruling in the Bajaj Auto Limited Vs. TVS Motor Company Limited case where an interim injunction was granted against TVS Motor for the infringement of Bajaj Auto’s patent.
6. Compulsory Licensing:
Section 84 allows any third party, three years post the grant of a patent, to apply for a compulsory license on various grounds including non-availability of the patented invention to the public at reasonably affordable prices.
7. Revocation of Patents:
According to Section 64 of the Patent Act, a patent may be revoked on various grounds including non-disclosure or misrepresentation of information, non-compliance with orders for compulsory licenses and more. As observed in the case of Revocation of Pfizer’s Cancer Drug ‘Sutent’, where IPAB revoked Pfizer’s patent on grounds of non-inventive step and absence of industrial applicability.
Understanding these legal provisions effectively can significantly ease the process of obtaining patents in India. However, due to the complexity involved, it’s recommended to take assistance and guidance from experienced patent lawyers like those at SimranLaw who can guide inventors through each stage, ensuring successful and hassle-free patent registration.