THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PATENTS
Patent Section 2(m) "Patent" means a patent for any invention granted under this Act
The word “patent” originates from the Latin word ‘Patere’, which means "to lay open" (i.e., to make available for public inspection).
Patent is a techno-legal document. A patent is granted to an invention which is novel, has an inventive step and is industrially applicable. Patent is granted with an exclusive right by the government of a country as a reward for the contributions made by the innovators. Patent may be called as an agreement between the inventor and the government for a limited period of time, usually 20 years in most of the countries.
A patent is a territorial right given to an inventor. Patent is not protected to a jurisdiction where it is not filed. The exclusive rights granted to a patent include manufacturing, selling, offering to sell, importing, licensing etc. For a time period of 20 years, only patentee is allowed to exploit the patented invention. Any third person performing any of the above will commit an act of infringement. A patent being an exclusionary right does not, however, necessarily give the owner of the patent the right to exploit the patent.
For example, many inventions are improvements of prior inventions that may still be covered by someone else's patent. If an inventor takes an existing, patented mouse trap design, adds a new feature to make an improved mouse trap, and obtains a patent on the improvement, he or she can only legally build his or her improved mouse trap with permission from the patent holder of the original mouse trap, assuming the original patent is still in force. On the other hand, the owner of the improved mouse trap patent can exclude the original patent owner from using the improvement.
Invention - Section 2(j)
Invention is the act or operation of finding out something new. It is the process of producing something not previously known or existing. It is not a revelation of something which exists and was unknown, but is creation of something which did not exist before, possessing elements of novelty and utility.
A discovery has no goal, it focuses totally on objective knowledge. It is often the case that the fantasy of an inventor is a requirement to imagine and visualize a goal and an idea (a hypothesis) for the practical application of new knowledge, for new technical solutions that come from a discovery.
Need of Patent
Knowledge is the most expensive intangible property. It has given birth to vast new industries. However, creations and innovations in the field of the science and technology needs protection and should be guarded. This is where patent plays its role. The most important step in today's world to protect an innovation or invention, is to protect them by filing a patent application. For this purpose it is very necessary for everyone who is doing a patent related business, research and development companies, Universities etc to protect their invention. Without a protection their invention can be accessed by any third party and benefited by the exploitation.
If a potential infringer tries to use the patented invention, the patentee can avail legal help to protect the patented invention. Therefore, it is the need of the hour for those who are engaged in the innovation business to protect their invention from any third party exploiting his invention and being benefitted from it. Above all these, an inventor can license his invention to a bigger corporate by obtaining a huge revenue.
Conditions to be satisfied by an invention to be patentable
An invention must satisfy the following three conditions:
b. Inventiveness (Non-obviousness)
- Novelty: An invention will be considered novel if it does not form a part of the global state of the art. Information appearing in magazines, technical journals, books, newspapers etc, constitute the state of the art. Oral description of the invention in a seminar/conference can also spoil novelty. Novelty is assessed in a global context. An invention will cease to be novel if it has been disclosed in the public through any type of publications anywhere in the world before filing a patent application in respect of the invention. Prior use of the invention in the country of interest before the filing date can also destroy the novelty.
Example: A p.hdprofeesor has made a break through drug, the chemical composition of which is not known to anybody. However while addressing his students he spills about the chemical composition of the drug then it no longer novel
- Inventiveness (Non-obviousness): A patent application involves an inventive step if the proposed invention is not obvious to a person skilled in the art i.e., skilled in the subject matter of the patent application. The complexity or the simplicity of an inventive step does not have any bearing on the grant of a patent. In other words, a very simple invention can qualify for a patent. If there is an inventive step between the proposed patent and the prior art at that point of time, then an invention has taken place.
Example: For example, using the power generated from riding a bicycle to charge mobile phones is not an obvious use of bicycles, mobile phones or chargers. In 2001, by passing the non-obviousness test, British inventor Kieron Loy obtained patents in several countries for his “Pedal & Power” eco-friendly mobile phone charger.
- Usefulness: An invention must possess utility for the grant of patent No valid patent can be granted for an invention devoid of utility.
Example:A time machine is a great idea, but unless an inventor actually creates one that truly allows people to travel in time, the simple idea of time machine ca not be patented