A Patent is an exclusive right granted by the government to an inventor in exchange of the disclosure of his invention to the world for a limited period of time. The patent protection grants a right of excluding others, from making, using, selling, importing the patented product or process for producing that product for those purposes without his consent.
History of the Indian Patent System:
The Indian patent system evolved from the British patent law and the first patent Act was in enacted in the 1911 in the form of Indian Patent and Design Act. After independence of India, a need for the alterations and modification was felt in the Act; so the Government of India appointed Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar to examine and review patent law and the changes and recommendations took a shape of the Indian Patent Act, 1970 along with the Patent Rules, 1972.
In 1995 India became a signatory in the TRIPS agreement and took the option to change the patent law in compliance with TRIPS thus opting for the grace period of ten years. The amendments were made in 1999 for accepting the product patents from 1995 and to provide exclusive marketing rights in India for a period of five years or till grant of product patents of other WTO member countries.
The Patent (amendment) Act 2005 came into force from 1st January 2005, which brought a huge change in the previous patent system of India. The product patents were now granted to all fields of technology including food, drugs, chemicals and micro organisms; the provision for compulsory license for export of medicines; provisions for pre-grant and post-grant opposition of the grant of a patent; and increased national security provisions.
Section 3 and 4 of the Indian Patent Act define the non patentable inventions, they are as follows:
|Section (a)||An invention which is frivolous or which claims anything obviously contrary to well established natural laws;|
|Section 3(b)||An invention the primary or intended use or commercial exploitation of which could be contrary public order or morality or which causes serious prejudice to human, animal or plant life or health or to the environment;|
|Section 3(c)||The mere discovery of a scientific principle or the formulation of an abstract theory or discovery of any living thing or non-living substance occurring in nature;|
|Section 3(d)||The mere discovery of a new form of a known substance which does not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of the substance or 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;
Explanation.—For the purposes of this clause, salts, esters, ethers, polymorphs, metabolites, pure form, particle size, isomers, mixtures of isomers, complexes, combinations and other derivatives of known substance shall be considered to be the same substance, unless they differ significantly in properties with regard to efficacy
|Section 3(e)||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;|
|Section 3(f)||The mere arrangement or re-arrangement or duplication of known devices each functioning independently of one another in a known way;|
|Section 3(h)||A method of agriculture or horticulture;|
|Section 3(i)||Any process for the medicinal, surgical, curative, prophylactic, diagnostic, therapeutic or other treatment of human beings or any process for a similar treatment of animals to render them free of disease or to increase their economic value or that of their products;|
|Section 3(J)||Plants and animals in whole or any part thereof other than micro-organisms but including seeds, varieties and species and essentially biological process for production or propagation of plants and animals;|
|Section 3(K)||A mathematical or business method or a computer program per se or algorithms;|
|Section 3(l)||A literary, dramatic musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creating whatsoever including cinematographic works and television productions;|
|Section 3(m)||A mere scheme or rule or method of performing mental act or method of playing game;|
|Section 3(n)||A presentation of information;|
|Section 3(o)||Topography of integrated circuits;|
|Section 3(p)||An invention which, in effect is traditional knowledge or which is an aggregation or duplication of known properties of traditionally known component or components.|
|Section 4||No patent shall be granted in respect of an invention relating to atomic energy falling within sub-section (1) of section 20 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962).|