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History of patent system in India

Patent system in India was first introduced by Britishers in 1856. This was later amended several times. The Indian Patents and Designs Act, 1911, (Act II of 1911) was first enacted under the management of Controller of Patents with a patent term of 14 years. The Patents Act in India was framed after Independence to fulfil the demand of industry and development of country on the basis of recommendations of the Justice Rajagopal Ayyangar Committee.

The Patents Act (Act 39 Of 1970) came into force on 20th April 1972. Initially, the Patent Act, 1970, provided a term of 7 years for pharmaceutical, agro chemical and food products and 16 years for other categories. Currently, with the Patents (Amendment) Act 2005 (Act 15 Of 2005) and the Patent Rules, 2003, India is granting patents for a term of 20 years from the date of filing and providing product patent as well for pharmaceuticals, agro chemicals and food products.

Current IP Laws in India

Copyright
  • Copyright Act of 1957 (as amended in 2012)
  • The Copyright Rules, 2013
Customs
  • Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007
Designs
  • The Designs Act, 2000
  • The Design (Amendment) Rules, 2008
Geographical Indications
  • Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
  • Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002
Information Technology
  • The Information Technology Act, 2000
  • The Information Technology Rules, 2000
  • Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 2000
Patents
  • The Patents Act, 1970
  • The Patents (Amendment) Act, 1999
  • The Patents (Amendment) Act, 2002
  • The Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005
  • The Patents Rules, 2003
  • The Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2005
  • The Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2006
Plant
  • Plant Varieties Protection and Farmers' Rights Act, 2001
Semiconductor and Integrated Circuits
  • Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act 2000
  • Rules for the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act 2000
Trademarks
  • The Trade Marks Act, 1999
  • The Trade Marks Rules, 2002

India – Convention and Treaty

  • Berne Convention (Literary and Artistic Works), with effect from April 1, 1928
  • Geneva Convention (Unauthorized Duplication of Phonograms), with effect from February 12, 1975
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), with effect from May 1, 1975
  • Nairobi Treaty (Olympic Symbol), with effect from October 19, 1983
  • Convention on biological diversity, with effect from February 18, 1994
  • World Trade Organization (WTO) Member and Signatory to TRIPS Agreement, with effect from January 1, 1995
  • Paris Convention, with effect from December 7, 1998
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), with effect from December 7, 1998
  • Budapest Treaty (for deposition of microorganisms), with effect from December 17, 2001
  • Madrid Protocol, with effect from July 8, 2013

Patent Offices in India

Office Address
Kolkata, Head Office The Patent Office, Intellectual Property Office Building , CP-2 Sector V, Salt Lake City ,Kolkata-700091
Delhi , Branch Office The Patent Office, Intellectual Property Office Building ,Plot No. 32, Sector 14, Dwarka, New Delhi-110075
Mumbai, Branch Office Patent Office Boudhik Sampada Bhawan, S.M. Road, Near Antop Hill Post Office, Antop Hill, Mumbai - 400 037
Chennai, Branch Office The Patent Office, Intellectual Property Office Building , G.S.T. Road , Guindy, Chennai-600032

Current Statistics in India

  • The Indian Patent Office has 1 Controller General, 1 Senior Joint Controller, 2 Joint Controllers, 12 Deputy Controllers, 70 Assistant Controllers, and  195 Examiners.
  • There are 2513 registered patent agents in India.
  • 42, 953 patent applications had been filed in the year (20013-14).
  • Only 24.5% out of the above applications have been filed by an Indian legal entity.
  • 6, 179 patents had been granted in the year 2014.
  • 1, 384 patent applications had been refused in the year 2014.
  • Top 10 patent filers in India are Tata Consultancy, CSIR, Larsen & Toubro, Crompton Greaves, Infosys, Tata Motors, TVS Motor, Bharat Heavy Electricals. Robert Bosch and Samsung India.

Salient Features of Indian Patent System

  • The term "Invention" means a new product or process involving inventive step and capable of industrial application.
  • Invention would not be considered novel if it has been used or published in India or elsewhere before the date of filing/priority.
  • The term of every patent granted is 20 years from date of filing.
  • Deposition details of biological materials mentioned in the specification are to be disclosed as the time of filing.
  • The source of Geographical origin of the biological material used in invention is required to be disclosed in the specification.
  • Every provisional application is to be followed by a complete specification within 12 months from the date of filing of the provisional application.
  • Except where an early request for publication has been made, every patent will be published just after 18 months from the date of filing/priority.
  • First Examination Report is issued only after filing a request for examination [within 48 months from the date of filing/priority]
  • Filing request for examination by any interested person (other than applicant) is allowed.
  • Non-extendible time for putting the application in order for grant is 12 months from the date of issue of First Examination Report.
  • Provision of Pre-grant allows filing of opposition by any person before the grant of patent, whereas, a post-grant opposition limits the filing of opposition to any interested person after the grant of patent but before the expiry of 1 year.
  • Without written permission, no person resident in India can apply for a patent outside India.
  • A patent of addition can be filed anytime during the term of main patent whereas a divisional patent is to be filed before the grant of patent.
  • A patent can be challenged and revoked anytime after the grant of patent on a petition by any interested person or Central Government by the Appellate Board or on a counter-claim in a suit for infringement of the patent by the High Court.
  • Compulsory license can be granted to any interested person after the expiration of 3 years from the date of grant for non-working, unreasonable price or failing fulfilment of the demands of patented invention.
  • Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has now been constituted to hear appeals against the decisions of the Controller under the Patents Act, 1970.
  • Unauthorized claim of patent rights shall be punishable with fine upto one lakh rupees.
  • Practice by non-registered patent agents shall be punishable with fine upto five lakh rupees.
  • India is now recognized as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA).
  • Facility for e-filing of patent has been launched.
  • Public search for 18 months publication and granted patents are available on the official website.

IP Glossary Points to consider

  • Do not disclose or use invention before filing a patent application
  • Conduct a prior art search before filing a patent application
  • Disclose each and every portion of your invention in the complete specification
  • Start marketing just after the filing of patent application
  • Evaluate potential of your invention
  • Understand the technology involved and its point of difference with the existing one
  • Identify and understand the Marketplace - both domestic and foreign
  • Identify likely infringers, competitors, licensing possibilities
  • Prepare a budget to include likely Patents costs for present & future