Obtaining Intellectual Property Rights is crucial to provide protection to an inventor and safeguard his/her rights over it. Patent registration establishes the ownership of innovation and the inventor can exclusively use, make and sell his product.
What Is The Meaning Of Patent?
A Patent is a legal document granted by the government given for a certain period of time to the inventor and allows him/her to prevent others from using, selling, distributing, or manufacturing the invention without authorisation or license.
In an era wherein, technology is being developed at a tremendous speed, new inventions are blooming and for an inventor, it is imperative to protect his/her product or process. To encourage innovation and for the advancement of technology, the process of Patent registration in India is made easier and the inventors can also secure a Patent for their invention even when it has not been developed completely- in the form of a Provisional Patent.
However, before an application for Patent or Provisional Patent registration in India is filed, it is important to conduct a proper study and ensure that the product or process is patentable or not.
What Is Patentability For Patent Registration?
Patentability means that a product or process has 3 essential elements:
- Novelty: This means that the invention did not previously exist in any form.
- Non-obviousness: This means that any person possessing skills in the particular field of the invention must not find the invention to be easy and obvious.
- Industrial Application: This means that the invention must have a commercial market.
What Cannot Be Patented In India?
Section 3 of the Patent Act lays down the kinds of inventions which are not patentable and for which a Patent registration cannot be obtained in India.
- 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 to 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 substance 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.
- This means that for the purposes of this clause, salts, esters, ethers, polymorphs, metabolites, pure form, particle size, isomers, mixtures of isomers, complexes, combinations and other derivatives of known substance shall be considered to be the same substance, unless they differ significantly in properties with regard to efficacy;
- 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 microorganisms 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 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.
Under Section 4 of the Patent Act, no patent registration shall be granted to an invention relating to atomic energy falling under Section 20(1) of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.
A thorough Patent Search is a must to ensure that the invention meets the patentability criteria and does not fall under the ambit of Section 3 of the Indian Patent Act.