26 March 2014


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.

Difference between invention and discovery
It is important to distinguish invention from discovery; these terms are very often confused or considered interchangeable terms.
One can invent something that did not exist before. For instance, the first airplane is an invention.
To discover something means to find something that already existed in nature, but was unknown. Example: Universal gravitation could not be invented, but it could be discovered, as it always existed

Patentee - Section 2(p)
"Patentee" is a person to whom a patent has been granted for the specified period.
Patent Agent - Section2 (n)
A patent agent is a person who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and for matters relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition. He is a coordinator between the patentee and the Patent Office.

Rights of a Patentee:
1.            Right to exploit the patent
If the invention is a product, the patent confers the exclusive right to make, use, sell or import for these purposes, the invention in India.  If the patent is for a method  or process of manufacturing  an article or substance, it confers the exclusive right to use or exercise the method or process in India. The patentee has the right to prevent third parties, from exploiting the patented invention in any such manner without the consent of the patentee. The term of every patent granted under the IPA is twenty years from the date of filing of the application for the patent. This includes the patents, which had not expired when the IPA came into force i.e. on May 20, 2003. It is necessary to renew the patent annually on payment of fee for it to remain valid throughout its term of 20 years. Failure to renew the patent results in loss of all patent rights.
2.      Right to grant licence etc.
The patentee has the power to assign rights or grant licenses  or enter into another arrangement  for a consideration.  A licence or an assignment to be valid must be in writing and registered with the Controller of Patents.
3.       Right to surrender
The patentee is given the right to surrender the patent at any time by giving notice in the prescribed manner to the Controller. The Controller, before accepting the offer of surrender will advertise the same so as to give an opportunity to the interested parties to oppose the offer of surrender.
4.      Right to sue for infringement
A patentee is given the right to institute proceedings for infringement of the patent in a District Court having jurisdiction to try the suit.

In India, the term of a patent is 20 years from the date of application. A patent can expire in the following ways:

1. The patent has lived its full term i.e. the term specified by the patent Act of the country.

2. The patentee fails to pay the renewal fee. A patent once granted by the Government has to be maintained by paying an annual renewal fee.

3. The validity of the patent has been successfully challenged by an opponent by filing an opposition.

4. The patent is revoke.

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