This is part 2 of the blog post series titled “Creation of Minds! Innovation and Patents”. In part 1, we talked about patents, Indian patent laws, criteria of patentability and key factors to be considered while evaluating the patentability of an invention. In this part, we will talk about the patent application procedure, how patents further science, technology and competition, along with the business benefits they bring.
Patent Application – Invention Disclosure Form
A patent application has many parts, namely the title, bibliographic information, and an abstract.
But, the two most important parts of a patent application are the ‘detailed description of the invention’ and the ‘claims’.
- Detailed description of the Invention
• Detailed technical information about the features of the claimed invention
• How can the invention be made or carried out?
• Its application in industry or commerce
Often, it is necessary to illustrate the new ideas or concepts with examples/figures/flow charts to explain how to implement the invention in practice. This is to enable a person, skilled in the relevant field of technology, to understand the claimed invention and use the technical information contained in the patent specification to practice or repeat the invention without having to do undue experimentation.
- Claims of the Invention
The claims demarcate the boundary of your invention in words. Claims are at the heart of a patent. If the description includes some features that are not covered by the claims, then all such features are not protected by the patent. That is, all such features become a part of the ‘prior art’ that may be used by others without your permission, and you would not be able to do anything about it. Of the multiple claims in a patent, at least one or more are independent, while the rest are inter-dependent.
Patents pave the way for progression of science and technology
Innovation is the most integral step in the progression of science and technology. Intellectual property rights refer to the ownership of any intellectual finding in the field of art, literature, industry and science. Such systems give inventors exclusive rights over their inventions to encourage further innovation and drive progress.
The life cycle of technologies can be divided into stages – from invention, through research and development, propagation and market development, to commercialization. Patents can play a prominent role in the entire technology life cycle, from initial R&D to market introduction, allowing competitive technologies to be protected and licensed to third parties to expand financial opportunities.
Patents promote competition and innovation
For companies and researchers, patents allow Intellectual Property rights giving them a temporary monopoly. By gaining exclusive rights for their invention, they can generate higher returns and more profits. This, in turn, gives them a higher incentive to do more research and help with the advancement of science and technology. Historians and economists believe that patenting has led to an increase in the number of inventions.
Key Benefits from patenting an invention
A patent allows the patent holder to exclude others from commercially exploiting the invention covered by the patent and as specified in the claims in a certain country or region in which the patent was granted and for a specific period, generally not exceeding 20 years from the earliest filing date.
The publication of a patent and in many countries, the patent applications, give the public access to information regarding new technologies to stimulate innovation and contribute to economic growth.
Brief about Design, Trademark and Copyright:
• Industrial design intellectual property right is protected in India by the Designs Act of 2000. It offers the proprietor, protection on the aesthetics of an object and allows them to have an exclusive right on the design of the object, by applying a design application. The Protection right is provided for 10 years, and it can be renewed thereafter.
• A trademark is a symbol capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises. The term of trademark registration can vary but is usually 10 years, and it can be renewed thereafter.
• Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Copyrights protect works of writers, photographers and companies. Generally, a copyright lasts for 60 years.
Links to conduct basic search on Patents:
• Google: https://patents.google.com
• USPTO: http://patft.uspto.gov
• EPO: https://worldwide.espacenet.com
• India: http://ipindiaservices.gov.in/publicsearch
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!