Intellectual PropertyPatents

What Cannot Be Patented in India?

A patent is an exclusive right to prohibit others from using, making, or selling an innovation for a fixed period of time. The first step an investor should take to prevent his or her innovation from being misappropriated is obtaining a patent.

A device, method, composition, or procedure that is original or novel is considered an innovation. The government grants a patent for any innovation that is novel, non-tangible, and valuable in terms of contemporary application.

Simply put, a Patent Is an Exclusive Right bestowed by a government on the creator of innovation for a limited period of time. This privilege prevents others from making, indulging, creating, utilizing, selling, or importing the invention without the creator’s approval.

It covers all innovations identified, whether a product or a procedure, that is novel and inventive including extraordinary, unmistakable, creative measures that have Business Application.

There are three basic parameters for an invention to be patentable, which are: 

  1. The invention must be novel, which means it must not already be in existence
  2. The invention must be non-obvious, which means that even a person who is well-versed in the area to which the invention pertains might not be able to come up with that invention without exerting or acquiring exceptional mental skills and ability 
  3. Further, the invention must be beneficial to mankind and have a bonafide purpose. A useless or illegal innovation is not eligible to be patented.

Benefits of Filing a Patent in India

Certain benefits of filing a patent in India are as follows:

  • Enjoy increased credibility as the owner of the innovation
  • Gain legal monopoly over the innovation
  • Additionally, restrict your competitors from copying, selling, or importing your intellectual property without prior permission 
  • Obtain an additional source of revenue, as patents can be sold or licensed
  • Profit from premium valuation as patented products attract buyers who are willing to pay more on account of restricted availability.

What Is not Patentable in India?

As per Sections 3 and 4 of the Indian Patent Act, the following innovations are not Patentable in India:

  1. An invention that is frivolous or trivial
  2. An invention that claims anything obviously contrary to well established natural laws
  3. The mere discovery of a scientific principle
  4. Moreover, an invention whose primary goal or intended use is contrary to law or morality or is injurious to public health
  5. The formulation of an abstract theory
  6. Further, 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Similarly, the mere arrangement or rearrangement or duplication of known devices, each functioning independently of one another in a known way
  10. A method of agriculture or horticulture

Some more innovations that are not patentable in India:

  1. Inventions relating to atomic energy
  2. Any process for the medicinal, surgical, curative, prophylactic, or any other type of treatment of people or animals or other creatures
  3. 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
  4. A mathematical or business method or a computer programme per se or algorithms
  5. Likewise, a literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation whatsoever including cinematographic works and television productions
  6. Similarly, a mere scheme or rule or method of performing a mental act or method of playing a game
  7. Presentation of information
  8. Topography of integrated circuits
  9. An invention which in effect is traditional knowledge or is based on the properties of traditional knowledge.


The information in this article reconciles general information on what is not patentable in India: Further, for a more complete understanding of what is and what isn’t patentable, you can get expert’s help from Vakilsearch.

To get a better idea about whether your invention is patentable or not get in touch with our experts right away.

Validity of a patent filed in India

Every Patent in India is valid for 20 years from the date of filing for the patent. However, the term of 20 years commences from the international filing date for those applications filed under the Patent Cooperative Treaty (PCT).

Patent Renewal Fees for Individual Patent Holders

Renewal Fee Year Fee Payable (E- Filing) Fee Payable (Physical Filing)
3-6 years ₹800 ₹880
7-10 years ₹2400 ₹2650
11-15 years ₹4800 ₹5300
16-20 years ₹8000 ₹8800

In the event of non-renewal, the patent expires and becomes part of the public domain. This means that a patent holder cannot sue a third party who takes undue advantage of the patent after the renewal deadline.

However, there are ways in which a patent can be salvaged even after the renewal deadline. You do so by either requesting a six-month extension on paying a late fee or filing for the restoration of the lapsed patent. 

Either way, both these routes require extensive Legal expertise and professional knowledge. If you need help restoring an expired patent, get in touch with us right away. 

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