Intellectual PropertyPatents

What is Chemical Patent

The ABCs of chemical patents will be covered in this article, as well as the different methodologies for patenting a medicine.

A chemical patent is a pharmaceutical or drug patent that helps protect inventions made by a pharmaceutical company. A chemical process patent protects the process used to manufacture a particular drug, whereas a chemical formula patent protects the ingredients. Since drugs can be easily copied and replicated through analysis, such patents are essential in the pharmaceutical industry. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about patent registration, the patent process, and chemical patent application.

What Is a Patent?

A patent is a type of intellectual property that provides the owner with a sole legal right to make, use, and sell an invention for a stipulated period. In exchange for this statutory right, the inventor must publish details regarding the design. Patents help provide companies with a competitive advantage, as it enables them to control who uses or sells their invention. Pharma companies patent their drugs to protect their interests and have a monopoly selling the drug for a stipulated period.

Can You Patent a Chemical Compound?

Chemical patents help scientists retain an exclusive right to use, market, and sell specific compounds, chemicals, and molecules. The patent extends itself to the experimentation, development, marketing, and use of such chemical compounds in various items. A chemical patent or chemical formula patent helps the researcher protect their discovery. 

What Are the Different Patent Types and Patent Rights?

Patent Types in India

  • Provisional Patent: This patent type is useful when the invention is still in the experimentation stage as it is valid for a year. A provisional patent is easier to file, more affordable, and requires less documentation
  • Ordinary Patent: Ordinary patents do not claim any priority or contain any reference to earlier applications, and applications for the same go to the patent office
  • PCT International Patent: Applications filed with India as the receiving office as per the guidelines of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, making it valid in over 150 countries
  • PCT National Patent: When the application is from India, the applicant must file a national claim within 31 months of submitting the international request.


Patent Rights and Laws in India

The first patent right or law in India was through the Indian Patents and Designs Act, 1911, which later gave way to the Patents Act, 1970. After coming into force in 1972, another round of amending occurred through the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005. This amendment added the provision to file for product patents. After coming into the force, the amendment led to the repealing of the exclusive marketing rights provisions.

How Do You Patent a New Drug?

  1. The patent process starts with filing a patent application at the Indian patent office via a provisional or complete specification
  2. Along with the application, the inventor must also pay the required fees as per Schedule I
  3. In case a provisional patent was filed, the inventor must file a complete patent before the end of a year to complete the patent process and secure protection
  4. After applying, a team examines the application within 48 months from the date of filing the patent
  5. In case any objections are raised, the applicant gets an opportunity to meet the required specifications within six months, which may be extended for three months
  6. If the concerns raised by the team are not met within nine months, the application is rejected or considered abandoned
  7. Once all the requirements are met, the patent office journal publishes the patent, and issues it granted, completing the patent process.

How Do I File for a Patent Registration?

The patent registration process comprises the following steps:

  • Write down and collect all the details regarding your invention, idea, or concept
  • The patent application must contain details regarding the area of significance, description, method of working, and advantages
  • Make sure you include drawings, sketches, and diagrams to explain your invention
  • Ensure that your patent registration application meets the requirements of patentability or patent eligibility in India
  • Once you complete your analysis, seek expert opinion to help you decide whether to file for a patent
  • Decide whether to go for a provisional or complete specification and draft the patent application
  • Once you complete, then go ahead with the above-mentioned process. 

How Long Do Prescription Drug Patents Last?

The term for a chemical patent in India is 20 years from applying for the same. However, in the case of PCT national applications, the 20 years starts from the date of international filing of the patent. Also, since patent protection is territorial, patent rights are applicable only within a prescribed territory. As of now, there is no concept, such as global patent registration. However, a similar patent process may be initiated in countries under the PCT to make the patent valid there.

If you need any help regarding securing a chemical patent, do reach out to us at VakilSearch. Our team of expert lawyers will be happy to work with you and help you every step of the way.

For Registration on a design patent, click here: Design Patent.

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