IP in India: Patenting Granting Facts!

Read this blog to learn about the history of the Indian Patent Act and understand more about how patents are granted in India. 

IP is the abbreviation of Intellectual Properties. These properties are the ones that are protected under The Patent Act in India. A patent is the legal recognition of ownership of intellectual properties.

And the patent rights imply the power to prevent the legal republishing, reselling, recreating, or reclaiming rights to an original idea or invention. 

Anyone who infringes the patent will commit fraudulence because the patent holder can sue them. A patent helps the owner of an intellectual property prove in a court that it is their idea and, therefore, their legal property. Patenting, although is a pretty common term that we hear almost every day, is ambiguous in nature.

There are several start-ups, individuals, big companies, medium-scale firms, educational institutions, etc., who still do not have the basic idea of what patents are. 

Firstly, it’s important to know that claiming a patent infringement in court is absolutely upon the patent owner. For instance, if you have a patent and if you come across someone who has violated your creation in any way, it will be totally up to you to bring them to the court’s notice. Now, before moving on to the details of patents in India, let’s learn a bit about the governing body that grants Patents in India

Patent Governing Body in India

According to the Patents Act, 1970 in India, only the Central Government can implement and regulate rules related to patent Controller General of Patents, Designs, & Trade Marks (CGPDTM), which is a central government office, is the main body controlling the overall Patent process in India.

CGPDTM directly reports to the DIPP, which is the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. This office is liable to report to the Commerce and Industry Ministry in India. These hierarchies manage the overall process of Patenting in India through the following organizations:

  • Geographical Indication Registry
  • Trademark Registry
  • Patent Information System
  • Design Registry
  • Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Intellectual Property Management.

In India, there are four Patent Offices situated in 4 major metros:

  • Kolkata (Headquarters)
  • Delhi
  • Chennai
  • Mumbai

Thankfully, the office’s automated online processing option enables a more accessible and more transparent patent application process throughout the country. Currently, the applicant can check the application status, make amendments, apply for renewals and check the legal rank of patents by logging through electronic gateways. You can Apply for Patent with Our Experts team.

History of Patents in India

The first patent in India was granted way back in 1856 under Indian ownership. This was followed by the British Patent Law of 1852. The first patent was granted to the new inventors in the manufacturing sector. This was issued for 14 years. However, this Act was repealed because the colonizers did not want to give any independence to India during their reign.

Following this, a new legislation process was initiated and finally granted in the form of Exclusive Privileges in the year 1859. This Act ensured exclusive privileges for the country’s production, distribution, and use of innovations. Nonetheless, it remained valid for a maximum period of 14 years from the date of application. The most potent clause of this Act was to exclude the importers from the list of innovators categorically. 

More importance was given to design in the following years while issuing patents. Thus, the Act was renamed “The Patterns and Designs Protection Act” under Act 1872. This is the Act that remained valid for the next 30 years. Some small modifications were made to accommodate the new laws of colonised India. 

Over several decades, the Act was modified and renamed in the following ways –

  • The Protection of Inventions Act
  • The Inventions & Designs Act
  • The Indian Patents & Designs Act
  • Patents (Amendment) Act 

These were just some of the new names the Act took on over the next few decades of amendments. The Patents and Designs Act India, 1911 brought patent administration under the management of the Controller of Patents.  In 1920, the Act was further amended to enter into reciprocal arrangements with the UK and other foreign countries to address security issues. In 1930, the patent’s validity period was increased by 2 years, from 14 to 16. 

After Independence, as the geopolitical landscape changed drastically in India, there was an urgent need to overhaul the whole patenting process. The old Act was not fulfilling its primary objectives. Justice (Dr.) Bakshi Tek Chand was a retired Judge of Lahore High Court. In 1949 he formed a new committee to review the existing patent law in India. The committee was asked to recommend changes to the patent system in the interest of Indian citizens.

The committee surveyed and prepared reports on the patent system in India by examining the existing patent legislation process in India. The aim was the prevention of abuse and violation of patent rights. The committee also weighed the possibility of overthrowing patent rights on food and medicine and surgical and curative devices in the general public’s interest. 

The committee recognised the need to set up a National Patents Trust. On the whole, the committee recommended that India pave the path for a robust Patenting System in the interest of commercial development and encouraging innovation. 


In 1957, the Government of India appointed Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar Committee to examine the e-Patent Law further and produce a detailed note on the several clauses of the lapsed bills. After reviewing, the committee strongly recommended the retention of the existing Patenting system despite its several shortcomings. After a lot of deliberations, and reiterations, the final recommendation of this Committee was accepted and passed as the Patents Act, 1970. This Act became effective in April 1972 following the publication of the Patent Rules, 1972.

This was further amended in 1995, keeping in mind the emerging issues in the areas of pharmaceuticals, drugs, and other agrochemical products that were previously not covered under the Patent system in India. In the following years, the Patent Act of India was further amended with more regulations to stabilise patent rights as of today. 

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