With the development of human intellect, technology, and the rising importance of ideas or creativity over products or resources, a need for laws to protect the valuable ideas and creativity emerged. This led to the awareness regarding intellectual property and intellectual property laws in various countries including India.
Under the Patents Act, 1970, the Government of India allows protection of ideas and creativity under various classes of intellectual properties including patents, industrial design, trademarks, geographical indication, copyrights, semiconductor chips, and trade secrets. However, inventions are generally protected under patents.
Economically Significant Inventions (Added Value In India)
Similar to other jurisdictions, a patent, in India, is an exclusive right granted by the Indian Patent Office (IPO) for an invention that is new, involves inventive step, and has an industrial application linked to it. The inventive step, according to the Patents Act, 1970, means a feature of an invention that involves technical advancement as compared to the existing knowledge, similar to other major jurisdictions.
However, as compared to other jurisdictions, India leverages another factor i.e. an economic significance of the invention over the existing knowledge as an inventive step.
This special provision in India, significantly affects the grant of patents, as inventions that are capable of producing/manufacturing a product with no technical advancement but the reduced cost may be given protection by the IPO.
India Provides Unification Of Laws Around The World
India is a signatory country of international treaties such as Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), Budapest Treaty, Paris Convention, and Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). A patent application can be filed either under the Paris Convention or the PCT. The patent application filed under PCTis termed as an international patent application.
The Paris Convention, in particular, allows a time period of 12 months for filing a patent application in various Paris Convention bound countries. On the other hand, the PCT allows a time period of 30/31 months for filing a patent application in various PCT bound countries.
Such additional time proves very helpful as the applicant may utilize this time to seek funding, perform market research, and turn an idea into a commercial product during this time without losing the priority rights of the patent application.
Further, the PCT permits a centralized prosecution of the patent application before a single patent office, and may be used to reduce a number of objections that may be raised later, by respective patent offices of various countries in which the application is filed eventually, thereby the PCT may lower prosecution cost of the patent application in various countries.
Government of India (GOI) has been making patent-friendly scheme and policies. One such major scheme has been Startup India, launched on January 16, 2016, to promote development and innovation in products and services in India. Under Startup India, Startups become eligible for benefits such as 80% rebate on patent fees. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), on behalf of startups, bears this cost and provides rebate in the statutory fees for filing applications.
Apart from Startup India, Make in India has positively affected the patent applications in India both in terms of filing by Indian applicants and foreign applicants. Since, there is no patent that provides protection internationally, the countries with their own production and manufacturing units have been the areas of interest for the applicants under Make In India, throughout the world. The Make in India, in conjunction with the target base of more than 130 crores, makes India one of the biggest markets in the world.
Indian Patent Office (IPO) provides an option for early publication of patent application, which enables patent application to be published within one month from date of making such request. Early publication facilitates advantages like Faster prosecution time and Discouraging competitors.
Other Factors For Importance Of Filing The Patent Application In India
- India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and is projected to be the second-largest economy by 2050. Therefore, India is one of the biggest candidates for utilizing, and producing future technologies and inventions which should be protected through patents in India.
- India is a prime target of Fortune 500 companies because of being one of the world’s biggest market for various technical fields such as gadgets, fashion, parametrical, medical apparatus, automobiles, etc.
- Protecting the inventions related to telecommunication, electronics, computers, pharmaceutical, medical apparatus, automobile, and fashion will turn out into utmost importance for concerned industries, due to vast consumer base of Indian economy.
Current Scenarios Of The Patents In India
- Number of patents filed in India has been constantly increasing across past 5 years.
- Number of patents granted in India has been constantly increasing across past 5 years
- Number of patents examined in India has quadrupled in past 5 years.
In India patent filling should be considered based on the Applicant’s interest and actions taken, the early publication provision may be exercised at the discretion of Applicant in order to enrich value of the patent. The patent publication date is important as the applicant’s advantages, as well as patent rights, start into consideration from the date of patent publication. It should be also be noticed that the early publication seems to be effective non-expensive method to expedite the prosecution process.