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What is a Patent Act in India?

Whether you are trying to file a patent for your novel invention or are enthusiastic about the innovation, you must check out this article to gain insights related to Indian patent laws and the patent act in India.


A patent is an exclusive and sole right given to the inventor or innovator by the government. The primary purpose of the patent is to prevent any person or organization from misusing the patented design, idea, or process.

This excludes others from making, selling, using, or importing the patented idea without prior approval. 

If you are looking to file a patent for your innovative idea or novel creation, you must be aware that it is your sole right to register the patent to protect your invention.

Read on to know more about the Indian patent laws, history, amendments, essential criteria to be fulfilled to obtain a patent, rights and duties of the patentee and more. 

Basics of a Patent:-

The government grants a patent for a specified or prescribed time of 20 years. By giving a patent exclusive to only the inventor, the government encourages inventors to develop more novel ideas relating to their field.

In modern jargon, the patent is nothing but a right given to the inventor for the invention or creation of a fresh, new, practical, non-obvious process unknown to the public, the machine, manufacturing process, or composition of matter. The ‘patent’ term is derived from the Latin word ‘patere’, meaning ‘to lay open. 

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History and Amendments of the Indian Patent Act 

The Indian Patents Act, 2005 is amended to comply with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. TRIPS agreement is the comprehensive and most detailed multilateral agreement on intellectual property.

TRIPS agreement lets the members determine the appropriate implementation method for provisions within their native legal system.

This agreement introduced various amendments like provision for patents in all ‘fields of technology’ including for food, medicine, microorganisms, chemicals and product patents that are to be granted for at least 20 years.

Until 2005, the product patents were filed as black-box applications, and only five years of exclusive marketing rights were granted to the product patent owners. 

The previous patent laws in India are eventually repealed with the introduction and amendment of new statutes.

The first Indian Patent law was introduced in 1856 with the prime motto to boost and encourage new and valuable inventions, thereby influencing the inventors to reveal inventions at the public level.

Likewise, the first patent act was repealed with the following amendments in 1857, 1859, 1872, 1883, 1888, and 1911which altogether led to the Patent Act, 1970, which is referred to as the patents act in India. This act extends to the whole of India and was amended in 2005.  The same way you make patent for your logo design online for Business of brand.

Amendments of the Indian Patent 

Statute that came into force after 2005 are as follows:

  • Prominence to the native and local manufacturers
  • Provisions for pre-grant and post-grant opposition avenues and compulsory license
  • Introduction of reasonable time for negotiations between inventor and companies seeking a compulsory license
  • Improvement in the jurisdiction of the appellate board
  • Exemption of R&D from the scope of patents.

Essential Criteria to Be Fulfilled To Obtain a Patent 

Above all, there are three essential criteria to be tested for verifying whether an invention is patentable or not. If the requirements below are fulfilled, then there are many chances for the invention to be patentable. 

  • The invention should be new, fresh, novel, and not matched to any of the existing ideas and designs in any form, whether oral or written
  • Suppose the invention is an improvement to the existing technology. In that case, it should be a significant improvement, and bare changes in the already existing idea won’t be able to obtain a patent
  • The invention should be useful in a bonafide way, and this indicates that the invention shall not be solely used in illegal work and must be useful to the world and the public. 

Additional Criteria That Determine What Can Be Patented and Not 

Patent Subject Matter: 

One of the prominent considerations that need to be compared to the subject matter in the Indian Patents Act, 1970. If the patent subject matter matches the non-patentable subject matter given in the statute, then the criterion is not fulfilled, indicating no patent.

Unique and Fresh: 

Novelty, creativity, and innovativeness are potential patent guidelines. This means that your innovation must be unique and has never been seen or published in public. 

Inventive Steps and Non-obvious: 

The inventive step refers to the invention involving technological advancement and must be relative of economic significance or both to the existing knowledge. The invention should also not be obvious to the person skilled or experienced in the same field related to the invention. 

Industrial Application Level: 

The invention should be useful and be used at an industrial level as mentioned in the ‘industrial applicability. It must have practical utility and shall be a concrete existence that influences the world for good. The competent patent disclosure must also be adequately disclosed. 

The Indian patent registration process involves a lot of complexities, compliances, documents, criteria to be satisfied and more. Now experience the hassle-free way of e-filing and registering a patent for your unique invention under the guidance of expert specialists only at VakilSearch

Rights and Duties of Patentee 

Rights of the Patentee 

  • Right to Utilize Patent: The patentee, his agent, or licensees has the sole right to fully exploit, use, sell or distribute the patented article only during the granted period of patent.
  • Right to Transfer License: The discretion to transfer the patentee’s rights or grant licenses is at the patentee. Any arrangement should be in writing and registered at the Controller of Patents for such arrangement to be valid and legal.
  • Right to Surrender: The patentee has the right to surrender, and the application of surrender is presented in the Official Gazette.
  • Right to Sue for Infringement: This can be done in the district court of the  concerned jurisdiction. 

Duties of the Patentee 

  • Use of Patents by the Government: The government may use or even acquire a patented invention if it deems fit. It also has the right to prohibit patent usage under exceptional cases. 
  • Mandatory Licenses: Also known as compulsory licenses, these are granted by the controller to any applicant to work the patent.
  • Patent Revocation: The patent can be called off if there is no up-to-the-mark result which failed to meet the public demand.
  • Restored Patent: After the completion of the grant time of the patent, the patent’s validity can be restored but with limitations on the scope of the patentee’s rights. 


These are the basics of the Indian Patent Act; you must know if you are filing for the patent and trying to get it registered and legitimate.

One can also gain insights related to the Patent Act in India, such as history, amendments, checklist criteria for obtaining the patent rights and duties of the patentee, etc. For experiencing the best-in-class and hassle-free process of patent e-filing and registration, try VakilSearch now!

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