Patent is a legal monopoly, which is granted for a limited time by a country to the owner of an invention. Merely to have a patent does not give the owner the rights to use or exploit the patented invention. That right may still be affected by other laws such as health and safety regulation or the food and drugs regulation or even by other patents. The patent, in the eyes of the law, is a property right and it can be given away, inherited, sold, licensed and can even be abandoned. As it is conferred by the government, the government, in certain cases even after grant or even if it has been, in the meantime, sold or licensed, can revoke it.
- Patents protect inventions and improvements to existing inventions.
- Patent is a monopoly right granted by the Government to exclude others from exploiting or using a particular invention.
- This exclusive monopoly granted by a Patent is provided in return for the inventor disclosing the details of the invention to the public.
- Therefore, the patent is a monopoly right which offers exclusivity to the patentee to exploit the invention for 20 years after which it falls to the public domain.
- While filing a patent for your invention, there are several critical aspects to be followed especially in drafting the claims, which define the scope of the invention.
Drafting patent specification is an art by itself, and requires the expertise of skilled professionals in this field.
- A Patent gives an inventor the right for a limited period to stop others from making, using, selling or importing an invention without the permission of the inventor. That is why patent is called a "negative right"
- Patents are generally concerned with functional and technical aspects of products and processes and must fulfill specific conditions to be granted.
- Most patents are for incremental improvements in known technology – evolution rather than revolution. The technology does not have to be complex.
- Patent rights are territorial; an Indian patent does not give rights outside of India.
- Patent rights last for up to 20 years in India and in most countries outside India.
- Depending on where you wish your patent to be in effect, you must apply to the appropriate body. In India, this is The Indian Patent Office. There are various Patent Offices around the world. Alternatively, a Patent Agent can apply on your behalf.