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The Brief History of Patent System in India

Know about the history of the Indian Patent System and modifications done to Patent rules in this blog

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The Indian Patents & Designs Act, 1911, was revised in 1950 after independence. The Indian Government created the Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar Committee in 1957 to look into the possibility of revising the famous Patent Law and make recommendations to the government. The patent legislation was established in 1970 after two failed modifications in 1965 and 1967, and maximum of the requirements of the 1970 Act were put into effect on April 20, 1972, with the release of the Patent Rules, 1972.

1856’s Act VI was the very first piece of law relating to Indian patents. Because this Act was passed without the consent of the British Sovereign, it was abolished by Act IX of 1857. In addition, in 1859, provisions for exclusive rights were enacted. These systems changed the previous legislation, such as granting exclusive benefits to valuable discoveries alone and extending the significant period from six to twelve months.

The 1859’s Act was amended in 1872 to guarantee protection for designs. Under Act XIII of 1872, it was called “The Patterns and Designs Protection Act.” The Act of 1872 was revised again in 1883 to include a facility to protect the uniqueness of inventions disclosed in the Indian Exhibition before applying for protection. All prior Acts were repealed by the Indian Patents and Designs Act, 1911 (Act II of 1911). This law was revised again in 1920 and again in 1930.

The Patents (Modification) Act of 2002 was the second amendment to the 1970 Act (Act 38 0f 2002). With the adoption of the new Patent Rules, 2003, which superseded the earlier Patents Rules, 1972, this Act became effective on May 20, 2003.

However, in 2005, the Indian Patent Act was amended to include section 3 (d) to prevent patents from becoming ever greener. In addition to the prevailing post-grant opposition procedure, the advent of pre-grant depiction (opposition) was a significant element. 


In a short period, the pre-grant depiction has been successful. Novartis’ renunciation of a patent application on Glivec under section 3(d) of the act and the revocation of an earlier awarded EMR on the same medication used to cure Leukaemia is one example.

One of the most problematic aspects was a change in technology patentability, which was later repealed in a 2005 modification. The Patent Rules of 2003 were revised in 2005 and again in 2006. The inclusion of shorter timelines and a price system based on specified size and many claimants and a minimum fee are key aspects of both the 2005 and 2006 Rule.


1856 Based on the British Patent Law of 1852, Act VI of 1856 provides protection for inventions. For a period of Fourteen years, some unique privileges were offered to new manufacturer inventors.
1859 Patent monopolies, often known as exclusive rights, were changed by Act XV. For Fourteen years from the date of submitting the specification, you can sell and use your inventions in India and allow others to do so.
1872 The Patterns and Designs Protection Act is a law that protects patterns and designs.
1883 The Inventions Protection Act.
1888 The Inventions and Designs Act was merged.
1911 The Indian Patents and Design features Act is a piece of legislation that governs patents and designs in India.
1999 The Patents (Amendment) Act of 1999, which took effect on March 26, 1999, replaced the Patents (Amendment) Act of 1995, which had been in effect since January 1, 1995.
2002 The Patents (Amendment) Act 2002 took effect on May 20, 2003.
2005 The Patents (Reform act) Act of 2005 went into force on January 1, 2005.


The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks is in charge of the Indian patenting system (CGPDTM). The Indian Patent Office is a department of the Indian government governed by the Indian Patent Act of 1970. Patent offices in India are located in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai. The Indian Patent Act has undergone numerous revisions. 

However, India’s responsibility under the TRIPS agreement forced modifications to the Patent Acts and Rules in 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2006. TRIPS stands for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, and it permits product patents in the chemical and pharmaceutical fields.

The general controller’s office is part of the industrial development and policy department. Each patent office’s examiners must carry out their duties under controllers’ orders.

The following are the most important attributes of Indian patent law that determine whether a patent will be granted or not:

  1. The Purpose: Patent law’s primary goal is to promote scientific studies, economic development, and innovative technology. The price of the monopoly is the revelation of the invention at the Patent Office, which further goes into the public realm after the monopoly period has expired
  2. Taking a Risk: The fundamental concept of patent law is that a patent is only awarded for an innovation that is useful and unique. It is critical for a patent’s eligibility to be the inventor’s revelation rather than merely validating what was already known before the patent’s date
  3. Beneficial: Although the prior Act did not include the criteria of utility in the definition of innovation, courts have always held that a patentable discovery must be beneficial in addition to being unique
  4. Advancement: An enhancement on something previously known, or a blend of previously known matters, must be more than a basic workplace enhancement to be patentable and must independently meet an invention or the test of innovation
  5. The Conceptual Tests: A comprehensive test might be used to determine whether an alleged invention involves an inventive step and uniqueness. To begin with, if the patented ‘method of manufacturing’ was widely known, used, or performed in the country before or at the time of the invention, it will nullify uniqueness or ‘content knowledge’.


India has long recognised the value of a robust patent system for the advancement of trade and business, as seen by the changes made to bring India up to speed with the rest of the world. Most countries are now scouting for business prospects in India’s adoption of a new patent policy. The number of patent applications has increased significantly. Intellectual property is important to innovators and inventors in all domains of technology.


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