Types of Patents
Types of Patents A patent is an exclusive right granted to an inventor for a limited period in lieu of detailed public disclosure of an invention. This invention can be a product or a process that offers a new way of doing something or provides a technological solution to a problem.
This exclusive right conferred to the owner preventing others, for a limited period, usually 20 years, from making, using, importing or selling the invention without his or her permission. A patent is maintained through the payment of maintenance fee to the patent office for the duration of the patent.
Among the patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is one for the invention of a new process, which falls under utility patent, one of the six types of patents issued by the USPTO. A utility patent is for the invention of a new and useful process, the machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof. Types of Patents. STARTUP
According to the European Patent Convention, in order to be patentable, a process must be new, industrially applicable and involve an inventive step. The same is followed in India. In order to be patentable, a process must be novel. It must have an inventive step or it must be non-obvious. It must be capable of industrial application and it must not fall within section 3 or section 4 of the Patents Act 1970. Section 3 puts down what are excluded inventions under the Patents Act.
- an invention which is frivolous or which claims anything obviously contrary to well established natural laws;
- an invention the primary or intended use or commercial exploitation of which could be contrary public order or morality or which causes serious prejudice to human, animal or plant life or health or to the environment;
- the mere discovery of a scientific principle or the formulation of an abstract theory or discovery of any living thing or non-living substances occurring in nature;
- the mere discovery of a new form of a known substance which does not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of that substance or the mere discovery of any new property or new use for a known substance or of the mere use of a known process, machine or apparatus unless such known process results in a new product or employs at least one new reactant.
- a substance obtained by a mere admixture resulting only in the aggregation of the properties of the components thereof or a process for producing such substance;
- the mere arrangement or re-arrangement or duplication of known devices each functioning independently of one another in a known way;
- a method of agriculture or horticulture;
- any process for the medicinal, surgical, curative, prophylactic [diagnostic, therapeutic] or other treatment of human beings or any process for a similar treatment of animals to render them free of disease or to increase their economic value or that of their products.
- plants and animals in whole or any part thereof other than micro-organisms but including seeds, varieties and species and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants and animals;
- a mathematical or business method or a computer programme per se or algorithms;
- a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation whatsoever including cinematographic works and television productions;
- a mere scheme or rule or method of performing mental act or method of playing the game;
- a presentation of information;
- the topography of integrated circuits;
- An invention which, in effect, is traditional knowledge or which is an aggregation or duplication of known properties of a traditionally known component or components.
Section 4 states that no patent shall be granted with respect to an invention related to atomic energy. Barring the provisions under Section 3 and section 4 of the Patents Act, the criteria of patentability requires novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. Out of these, novelty and industrial applicability are regarded as well defined and understood. It is the concept of an inventive step in a proposed process that is a matter of debate among patent offices, courts and patentees. The phrase ‘inventive step’ was not even a part of the definition of ‘invention’ under the Patents Act of 1970. According to the Act, an invention meant “any new and useful art, process, method or manner of manufacture”. Types of Patents
‘Inventive step’ was first included in the definition of the invention under the Patents (Amendment) Act 2002. It also defined the phrase ‘inventive step’. According to it:
- invention means a new product or process involving an inventive step and capable of industrial application;
- ‘Inventive step’ means a feature that makes the invention not obvious to a person skilled in the art.
Patents (Amendment) Act 2005 broadened the scope of ‘inventive step’ and defined it as “a feature of an invention that involves technical advance as compared to the existing knowledge or having economic significance or both and that makes the invention not obvious to a person skilled in the art.”
The obviousness of a process is based on the hypothetical of a “person skilled in the art”. Such a person must belong to the relevant field in which the patent for the process is sought.