Intellectual Property (IP) rights are exclusionary rights given to authors, inventors, and businesses for a limited period on the creations of their minds. Under the IP law, authors, inventors are conferred with the rights on a variety of intangible assets such as literary and artistic works of authorship, technological invention, aesthetics layouts, symbols, logos, useful and ornamental inventions, and valuable information.
Every innovation starts with an idea conceptualized by an inventor/author who then keeps it as a trade secret up till respective IP protection is sought on the conceptualized idea. Different types of IP protection one can apply include Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Design, and Copyright.
Each of the aforementioned IP is governed by the respective statute enacted by the Government. Some of these include The Patents Act, 1970 (1970), The Trademarks Act, 1999 (1999), Copyright Act, 1957 (1999), and The Designs Act, 2000 (2000).
The four types of intellectual property law include:
What is a Patent?
A Patent is a statutory right for an invention granted for a limited period of time to the patentee by the Government, in exchange of full disclosure of the invention for excluding others, from making, using, selling, importing the patented product or process for producing that product for those purposes without the consent of the patentee.
Does Indian Patent give protection worldwide?
No. Patent protection is a territorial right and therefore it is effective only within the territory of India. There is no concept of a global patent.
However, filing a patent application in India enables the applicant to file a corresponding application for the same invention or substantiate the same in convention countries through the Paris Convention or PCT route, within twelve months from the filing date in India. Patents should be obtained in each country where the applicant requires protection for the invention.
Are Software Inventions Patentable in India?
Innovations in the field of software can be patented in India. The Indian patent office defines software inventions under the category of Computer Related Inventions, one or more features of which are embodied wholly or partially by means of computer program(s). Such inventions have been described in the guidelines published by the patent office for the examination of computer related inventions, or CRIs.
Generally, patent applications covering subject matter related to software inventions have been divided into different categories by the patent office, namely, (i) Method/Process, (ii) Apparatus/System, (iii) Computer readable medium, and, (iv) Computer Program Product.
In case of claiming a method or a process, the patent office excludes business methods, mathematical formulae, algorithms, and computer programs per se. Specifically, if method claims or process claims associated with computer-related innovations have novel and inventive aspects, they are patentable as per Indian patent laws.
The Indian Patent Office categorizes computer-readable medium or Computer Program Products claims as computer programs per se, and hence such claims may not be patented as per with Indian patent laws.
To illustrate all that we have said above, let’s take an example of a patent granted to Zensar
A Computer Implemented Interactive System and Method for Locating Products and Services (US10345112B2)
Interactive system for locating products and services with voice/chat enabled assistance to help customers and provide navigation assistance as per requirement.
What can be Patented?
An invention relating either to a product or process that is new, involving an inventive step and capable of industrial application can be patented. However, it must not fall into the categories of inventions that are non- patentable under sections 3 and 4 of the Indian Patent Act, 1970.
Criteria of Patentability:
An invention is a patentable subject matter if it meets the following criteria:
Can any invention be patented after publication or display in the public exhibition?
Generally, an invention that has been either published or publicly displayed, cannot be patented as such publication or public display leads to lack of novelty.
This concludes part 1 of the “Creation of Minds! Innovation and Patents” blog series. In part 2, we will talk about the patent application procedure, how patents further science, technology and competition, with the business benefits they bring. Stay tuned!
To date the inventors at Zensar have filed over 100 patent applications across global locations (USA, UK, South Africa and India), and received 10+ patent grants. To know more information about Innovation and Patent Program at Zensar, please mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also visit our website at https://www.zensar.com/zenlabs